Written by Uma Raja
Dancing can be a wonderful stress reliever that benefits both your physical and mental health.
When one thinks of dancing, the images that are conjured tend to be poised ballerinas or college students in a dimly-lit fraternity basement. Dancing does not seem to have much of an impact in the working adult world, but if incorporated into your routine, dancing can be a wonderful stress reliever that benefits both your physical and mental health.
Dance has the superpower to make exercise fun. It can be hard to find the motivation to drive to the gym and force yourself to use a tedious machine. However, if you’re jamming out to a song that you love, you forget that you’re doing exercise at all! I highly recommend scouring YouTube for free videos. It’s as simple as looking up your favorite song plus the phrase “dance workout.” If you don’t know where to begin, I recommend the channel MadFit’s dance party workouts. These videos are around fifteen minutes, feature great songs, are beginner friendly, and torch large amounts of calories in a short timespan. With consistency, one or two videos a day could really get you in shape! I used these videos in quarantine, and despite being trapped in the house, my mood was vastly improved after every workout.
I also recommend looking into a local dance troupe. I joined Extreme Dance Company at the University of Florida. I was placed in the beginner level, and I have met so many wonderful girls who are there simply to have fun and to pick up a new skill. My dance team is great exercise, a cool way to meet new people, and it’s something that I look forward to every week!
Furthermore, mental health is often associated with yoga and early mornings. However, a night out dancing can have major mental health benefits as well. When I’m screaming the lyrics to my favorite song with my best friends, I am genuinely reminded that it is wonderful to be alive. When in a clubbing environment, it is important to stick with your friends, and if drinking, to drink responsibly. However, I believe the stigma around clubbing should be lifted, as some of my most wholesome memories involve going out with my friends and dancing the night away.
Whether it’s a YouTube video on your laptop, a dance studio with your troupe, or a nightclub with friends, dancing is an excellent outlet for physical and mental health. Next time you’re feeling down, blast your favorite song and dance your troubles away!
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