Building resilience the fun way: dance!
Stefani, Catherine, Kamila and Emilie dancing their heart out
Dance, resilience and me – I’ve been an avid dancer for the last 10 years, learning and challenging myself (a lot), and having fun meeting new friends while learning. As you read the article linked below, published in Frontiers in Human Neuro-Science, you’ll realize how powerful dancing is as an effective resilience (and anti-aging) strategy to keep your spirit inspired, your brain sharp and your body fit and functional. And so much more.
Learning to dance is learning a new language expressed through your whole body – It’s about learning the structured, sequenced, yet fluid language of moving your whole body to music, learning specific body alignments and movements, and memorizing them through visual and kinetic memory… It’s about moving through rhythm and music, memorizing movements and choreographies, and interpreting creatively a repertoire of dance “vocabulary”. Think of whole body sign language and you’ll get closer to the complexity of it. So I need to clarify here that this is not the same as marking the beat or repeating the same two or three dance moves you’ve been using forever – nothing wrong with that, but this is not what this post is about.
Dancing is expressing your whole self through movement – Through fluid, constantly changing motion and patterns. It’s about hard learning, as you learn and memorize a new vocabulary of movements and sequences. It’s about challenging yourself, inspiring yourself in whole new ways – and it’s a lot of fun.
What I love about dancing – It’s holistic: and by this I mean mindful, inspiring, mentally and physically demanding… You are “in the moment”, you’re having fun, learning something challenging, socializing and expanding your social circle, memorizing, learning to use your body in ways you didn’t know, and becoming more conscious of how your spirit, mind and body are one, connecting and working together to express who you are.
I’m adding a neurological fact for the little nerd in us: There are only three ways to slow down or reverse neurological and memory aging (which start around age 40): learning to speak fluently a new language; learning to play well a musical instrument; and learning structured, expressive dance. Listening to music or a new language doesn’t work. Watching dance doesn’t work. And crosswords and sudoku don’t work. For resilience and anti-aging properties, you need to be engaged, active and challenged. Which is what life is all about. Are you up to it?
Article from Frontiers in Human Neuro-Science:
Learn to dance: Emilie, awarded “best dance instructor Ottawa 2017” teaches various easy-to-learn and fun dance styles at several locations in Ottawa.
For inspiring, fun dance classes for absolute beginners and experienced dancers in Ottawa, Canada: https://www.dancewithemilie.com