“Dance has been proven to increase mental wellness, reduce stress, decrease risk of depression, and reduce physical and mental distress,” explained Dr. Hui Chen, Medical Director at the Dance Institute of Chicago, based at The Village Hospital. “There is a lot of medical evidence to suggest that dancing increases our mood, our physical vigor, and has some really great health benefits to our bodies. It really does all of that.”
Is dancing physically addictive? The question is a common one that mental-health professionals ask their clients. “It’s like ‘do you get addicted to drugs or alcohol,'” said Dr. Chris Lydon, a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at UCLA’s Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders. “The answer is ‘no.’ We believe that dance, when practiced regularly, is a form of physical practice that provides mental health benefits.”
Is it physically taxing to dance? “I would say that it definitely is,” stated Dr. Lydon, of his experience with clients who have danced for an hour straight or more. “It definitely is, I would say, physically. Dancing is a physically taxing activity. It’s not something that is a chore that you can do from 10 o’clock in the evening in front of everybody and not be exhausted.”
Is dancing an aerobic exercise? According to Dr. Hui Chen, a study done at the Dance Institute of Chicago found that dancers performed more physical activity than those that did not perform dance. “The reason that you can do this physical work in a gym is that what you are doing is called dance, a combination of walking and jumping. Dance has the ability to change your mind and your body physically.”
Does a dance recital make me physically healthier? According to Dr. Hui Chen, in a recent study of over 1500 male university students across several states, those who performed dance recitals over their recessional hours (approximately 4 times per week) were over twice as likely to be overweight or obese as those who did not perform dance recitals. It has also been proven that dance can boost energy, motivation, flexibility, and mood levels.
Does dancing cause cancer? Yes. It’s possible that the dance has the power to help people with cancer, said Dr. Hui Chen, of the Dance Institute of Chicago. “Dance can increase energy to fight off these illnesses, increase blood flow to the brain, and increase the number of cells in the body that are growing with the support of the