Dance is something that has showed incredible benefits for mental health. A study author by the name of Anna Duberg from the Sweden Center for Health Care Sciences noted that even though there were problems like stress and other challenges in adolescent girls, being involved in dance can bring about a positive experience for all participants. Dance also has the potential of contributing to brand new healthy habits.
A study was done through Swedish researchers on 112 teenaged girls that had been struggling with stress, depression, anxiety and back and neck pain. Half of the girls studied attended dance classes on a weekly basis, while the other half did not. The girls that were in the dance classes enjoyed improvements to their mental health while reporting a boost in mood. The positive impact lasted for roughly eight months after the dance classes ended.
There was another study that was done through Debbie Duignan from the WA Alzheimers Association that explored used of Wu Tao Dance as a form of therapy for people who have dementia. It had been shown that the Wu Tao Dance was able to reduce the various symptoms of agitation often found in those with dementia. There is complex mental coordination that is involved with dancing that helps to activate both motor and sensory circuits. Whenever someone dances, the brain is stimulated by the dance movements as well as the sound of the music. PET imaging shows that the brain regions that are activated in dance learning and performance, such as somatosensory cortex, cerebellum, motor cortex and basal ganglia. Dancing shows to have benefits for the brain, including strengthened neural connections and memory improvement. Dance can both reduce the symptoms that are associated with dementia, but it can help with reducing the risk of dementia development to begin with. All of this is shown in a New England Journal of Medicine study from 2003 by the researchers from Albert Einstein College Of Medicine.