Dancing is an activity that has served many purposes throughout human history. It has been done as part of communication, religious rituals, and performing arts. These days, dancing is often a leisure activity where people move freely to music they love.
Interestingly, it’s more than just a fun activity. It’s a healthy activity. According to AARP, the nonprofit interest group for individuals at least 50 years of age, dancing has health benefits that are similar to those of moderate, low-impact, weight bearing activities: stronger bones and muscles, increased overall body tone, improved posture and balance, enhanced stamina and flexibility, reduced stress and tension, better confidence, and prevention of diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure. This is true whether we’re talking about ballroom dancing, swing dancing, or pretty much any type of dancing.
There are also the social benefits of dancing, like making new friends, discovering love, and being part of a larger community experiencing the same happiness. For this, I’m not going to cite an article, but rather provide a link to an inspiring film clip. In the final scene of the 1987 film Dirty Dancing, Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey share a romantic and sensuous dance, before Swayze jumps off the stage and inspires everyone in the ballroom to join the fun. Minutes later, everyone is dancing freely to the music, while Swayze and Grey share a final kiss. To me, the scene illustrates the power of music and dance in bringing people together.
Let’s say you’re too shy to get onto the dance floor, no matter how much you try. Well, here’s a little comic from the website Poorly Drawn Lines that, as humorous as it is intended to be, provides two useful tips for enjoying music when you’re too shy to dance: bobbing your head and tapping your foot. (I’m not advocating the third option of alcohol, just because everyone can decide on that for themselves.) Another thing you can do is dance where nobody is around, like in the music video for the Fatboy Slim song “Weapon of Choice” featuring Christopher Walken dancing (and even flying) in an empty hotel lobby.
Throughout most of my life, I battled shyness that prevented me from getting onto the dance floor. While I still lean towards dancing by myself with simple head bobbing, at least I can still feel good about the music I listen to. Hopefully, I can inspire you to enjoy dancing regardless of your level of sociability. So what are you waiting for? Get up and dance, even if you’re shy.
Anthony Lee is a prolific writer (medical by day, creative by night), an avid book reader, an enthusiastic movie watcher, and an insightful philosopher. He joined the Delivering Happiness movement in late 2011 after reading Tony Hseih’s book of the same name, sharing it with his book club, and adopting a newfound optimistic perspective on life. He spends much of his time thinking of ways to improve the world and inspiring people with his own words of wisdom and inspiration on Facebook (AnthonyLeePhilosopher) and Twitter (AntPhilosopher).