After teaching for nearly 15 years I know first hand the positive effects that dance has had on myself and my students. When I am not teaching dance I feel that something is missing. Over the years I have asked students to share why they are coming to my classes to learn. The overwhelming responses go something like this, "I am learning dance because it relieves stress." "I am learning dance because it is an opportunity for my partner and I to spend time together." "I am learning dance because it makes me happy."
Looking at most cultures around the world, dance is an integral part of creating a sense of community, teaches boundaries, and is a way of expressing emotions. Unfortunately Western society has created a passive dance experience, in that dance is something for a few to do while the majority watches. So dance becomes about performing rather than a reciprocal sharing of creative energy. It is hard to get people, especially men, into a dance class because there is this idea that you have to be a good dancer to dance. When I frame learning dance as a process I see students visibly relax. I think if more people understood the health benefits of dance, many people would overcome their fear and step into a class. How about we start here: Neuroscientists Reveal Number One Exercise Slowing Aging Process