You can go at your own pace, choose any time of day or night, clomp about in PJs or dance as if you’re a starlet. Lorna V investigates the serious reasons to go for it.
1. Gain the confidence for a live class
According to Psychologies Magazine’s book Real Confidence, confidence is about giving things a go, having patience, developing competence – and feeling good in your body. All dance classes have similar vocabulary even if the music, rhythm, and movements are different. Becoming familiar with a dance class format and dance terminology develops our confidence and can give us the motivation to take a live course. Ballet and contemporary dance are the foundation of most dances so you’re giving yourself a perfect start with these courses.
2. Find your inner ballet dance child
We tend to associate the idea of the inner child with inner child healing but how about considering the fun side to this psychology too? Many of us feel wistful because we weren’t sent to ballet classes. But as emberly’s resident dance artist Maeve McGreevy says age really does not matter. ‘My experience is that adults often think they cannot go to a ballet class because they never attended lessons as a child and that it is now too late. But, no! Absolutely not! Perhaps all we need to do is enter into the class with the openness, humility, curiosity, and confidence of a child, and then the dance experience can be accepted and enjoyed freely without pressure or expectation.’
- Related post: Ballet? Me? 5 Reasons to Try Ballet Today
3. We were all born to dance
Just because some people have a natural aptitude and find it easy to dance, doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t. In fact genetic research shows that whilst professional dancers certainly do have special gene variants that predispose them to being proficient dancers, dancing is universal, present in all societies and human beings have an emotional need to dance.
4. Learning is what turns us into dancers
Is dancing an inborn talent or can it be learnt? Both! Even professional dancers practise, in fact they are as rigorous in their training as athletes. With an on-demand online class you can practise more regularly without feeling self-conscious about anyone watching.
5. On-demand online classes suit almost all learning styles
This explanation of learning styles from US based Celebrity Dance Studio is fascinating as it relates specifically to dance. On-demand online classes work for auditory, visual, verbal, physical, logical, and solitary learning styles. And even if your style is social and you thrive learning in a group with other people, there may be times when it’s simply not possible to find a tribe.
- Related post: Feel the Dance Fear and Do It Anyway
6. Dancing should be part of our education
British education expert Sir Ken Robinson believes that dance should be as important as maths at school because of evidence that dance classes help in developing personal and social skills and boost the brain’s learning engine. Much of the research Robinson refers to applies to adults too.
7. Dancing is good for your physical and mental health
Online magazine calmmoment.com charts the mental benefits of dance including that it’s an instant mood-lifter, eases anxiety and reconnects the body to the mind. If you find conventional mindfulness and meditation apps and videos are not working for you, immerse body and mind in a dance practice instead.
- Related post: ‘Why Am I Still Stressed Even Though I Meditate?’
8. Conquer your chorophobia
The documentary Fear of Dancing by Toronto filmmaker Michael Allcock explores what’s known scientifically as chorophobia which is indeed a real thing. The reasons behind the fear vary from person to person but the underlying psychological reasons are connected to social environments. In the comfort of your own home with no one watching, and minus the self-consciousness of being the one off-camera on Zoom, you can give yourself a massive boost.
9. Dancing slows down ageing in the brain and the body
There’s been ample research on the benefits of exercise on the brain but it seems that dance beats them all. Learning to dance boosts the part of the brain connected to memory and learning. According to one German study comparing different forms of physical exercise, the extra challenge of learning dance routines proved more significant in slowing down ageing in the brain. Ballet specifically has multi-dimensional anti-ageing benefits. A 2018 study on senior citizens and ballet by Queensland Ballet and Queensland University of Technology showed that the benefits included more energy, better posture and flexibility, and a sense of achievement. So next time you’re researching anti-ageing creams and treatments, think of your mind too.
10. Break up your WFH sitting day
Why sitting too much is bad for your health includes the increase of serious disease such as diabetes, and as many of us know all too well from our WFH days, weird back, and neck pains. Yes, we’re told to stretch regularly or take a scheduled class on Zoom but it’s easy to forget to get up and other online meetings run over so it’s not so easy to plan live online classes to break up the WFH day. With an on-demand online class it’s there whenever it suits you, and the desire to progress, master the moves, and enjoy that sense of achievement are super-motivators.
Have you taken an on-demand online course? We’d love to know what benefits you have experienced. Share your experiences in the comments below.