I just realized that I’ve said nothing good about dancing since I started blogging. Most likely because I know the benefits all along and its obviousness is as clear as day and light. The other reason is because I only realized its negative impacts in hindsight while looking back or contemplating on some new habits I gained. The sharp contrast of a normal life against the dance lifestyle brought about some interesting debates.
To prevent boring you guys too much with words, I’ve separated this into several parts. Part I will be focusing on the physiological benefits. So, without further ado I will present my case.
Adrenaline is a natural high
The only reason why my parents haven’t brought their full might upon me to force me to quit (even though it contributed to me almost flunking out of engineering) is because it doesn’t destroy my brain like drugs. The adrenaline high is a natural state and we do take advantage of dancing to bring in the state. Remember the first time you asked a girl out? The sinking feeling before you take your finals? Or The euphoria you felt after bungee jumping? Thats what it feels like every time you walk off the floor. It’s addictive and it cost a lot, but at least it’s healthy.
When you crave to reach the top, or when walking the path towards the top. The athlete is forced to combine a number of different trainings together in order to improve. To compete physically, one needs to do muscle training and cardiovascular training alongside the normal dance training. Just the fact that you do these will ensure that you will have a well proportioned body. If you like that, you’ll enjoy the 8 packs that comes along with dancing as well as never having to worry about your love handles.
Expertise in movement
Unlike body training, dancing helps you build up all the small muscles that are involved in stabilization and teaches you new ways of moving. There are quite a few morning where I wake up with sore muscles in places I didn’t believe had muscles. There are also new brain connections that I have to make which I never knew before. Imagine the frustration when you try to perform, for the first time, Mr Spock’s peace hand signal in Star Trek. Now imagine perfecting it so you can move to the rhythm with that. Then imagine doing the same thing for a couple dozen different places of your body.
You become more aware of the space that your body occupy and you have several options in movements you can use to achieve the same result as one which you were born with. I’ve had girls commenting that even a simple thing as opening door, I look like I am dancing. (I’ve since made an effort not to “dance” when I open doors or do normal things because I don’t want to draw too much attention.) I wasn’t actually dancing, my movements were just ingrained to follow the fluidity of dancing.
Most dancers I know have the perfect posture. I say most because there are always exceptions. But compared to the general population, there are a higher percentage of people with perfect posture than your average day to day Joe. I am talking about the chin high, chest up, and I am the king of the world type of posture. The reason is very simple, because everyone else in this circle is doing it. And if you show just a slight difference from the expected perfection, you won’t place ever.