Magazine article Work & Family Life

Dancing to a Beat Can Lift Your Spirit

Magazine article Work & Family Life

Dancing to a Beat Can Lift Your Spirit

Article excerpt

We're watching some great dancing on TV these days, but most of us are not getting into the swing of things ourselves. And we should. Studies have found that dancing is not only good exercise, it can help improve our social skills, lift our spirits and even reverse depression. Here are some of the findings.

A German study of music and partner dancing found that tango dancers had significantly lower levels of stress hormones and higher levels of testosterone after dancing with partners. They also felt more relaxed and sexier.

University of New England researchers reported that participants who spent six weeks learning fancy dance footwork recorded significantly lower levels of depression than a control group who took no class. The results were similar to a third group who took meditation lessons. Study author Rosa Piniger credits the "mindfulness" or extreme focus of dance that interrupts negative thought patterns.

A study at the Univei'sity of Derby in the UK found that depressed patients who were given salsa dancing lessons improved their moods markedly by the end of nine weeks. Researchers cited the normal endorphin boost of exercise - plus the social interaction and concentration required by dancing, as well as the heightened self-confidence that comes from learning a new skill. …

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