Dance

You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.

–Plato

Dance has been an integral part of most cultures for thousands of years. Archeologists found traces of dance, in paintings found in Bhimbetka rock shelter caves in India, from 30,000 years ago. Dance has been used to drive away illness-causing spirits and provide healing rituals, purifying the body and soul. It can express who we are as a culture, as in traditional folk dances. Dance also provides socialization and bonding. It can express who we are as a person.

Our society is recognizing the therapeutic benefits of creative dancing. Dance therapists utilize the beneficial effects in treating patients with autism, emotional problems, psychosomatic illnesses, chronic pain, muscle tension, limited motion and coordination problems. Dancing can relieve stress, burn calories, exercise muscles and boost confidence.

Ballroom dancing was an important part of socializing in the first half of the last century. It was important for both sexes to learn the basics of the dances. The popularity of the Lindy continued this tradition. Country line dancing has fired up enthusiasm for couples all over the country and ballroom dancing is making a comeback at colleges.

At my Mom’s Assisted living home, they regularly have music to entice the residents into moving and shaking their stuff. It certainly puts a smile on their faces and a jiggle in their steps.

Adult education classes offer dance lessons ranging from belly to ballroom. Thankfully, many venues and dances don’t require bringing a partner. It can be wonderful exercise for all ages with side effects of meeting people, burning calories and possibly kindling romance. Move from wallflower to dance floor in one easy fox trot.

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