One of my favourite activities, ballroom dancing, is so enjoyable that the dancer is unaware of the health benefits they are gaining from the activity.There are numerous reasons why I and other dancers keep coming back for more. Firstly,the exhilaration obtained from being held in someone’s arms and effortlessly floating around the darkened dance floor performing a waltz or foxtrot or, the sensation of flying in a Quickstep or Viennese waltz and, in the case of a Tango, expressing the anger, and romance of the Latin cultures ensures that the dancer will return for dance after dance. Furthermore, another benefit of dancing is the social contact, particularly touch, which is given in a non-threatening fashion. An additional joy of the dance, particularly for women, is the dressing up in fashions which would often be considered “too dressy” for normal wear. Feeling beautiful, the women wear full skirts that will lift and billow when their partner twirls them, further adding to the positive feelings about self that dancing gives. As a matter of fact for women it is the perfect exercise; so much fun is had that you are unaware that you are exercising, not eating, not drinking alcohol, losing weight and getting fit all at the same time. Additionally, it is much less boring than a night at home alone in front of the television munching on some consoling chocolates with a glass of wine in hand. All these reasons make dancing enjoyable and easy to come back to for more.
The health benefits far exceed these motivators of continuance. By far the biggest health benefit not yet mentioned, is its part in preventing Altzheimers disease. Studies have shown that three factors must be taken into account to help decrease the risk of dementia. The First is partaking in activities which use the brain. A dancer does this constantly in the learning of dances and new steps. Secondly, a person must do a reasonable amount of physical exercise. Dancing certainly fits this criteria. Thirdly, social interaction has to occur. Again this happens at dances; meeting new people, talking, laughter and importantly touch. There is no other activity which meets the three criteria for prevention of altzheimas as ably as dancing. It can be seen that the enjoyment gained from ballroom dancing ensures that people return frequently and regularly for more, thus gaining health benefits difficult to get from other activities.