How Dancing Helps an Actor’s Mental Health Big Time

How Dancing Helps an Actor Mental Health Big TimeIn the last few decades, researches have been fascinated by the benefits of dancing for the human brain. Plenty of studies prove that this physical activity is among the best “brain enhancers” and proofs keep coming.

In fact, a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine proves that dancing is one of the best exercises meant to improve cognitive abilities of a human brain, including creativity.

What does that mean for you?

When an actor engages in dancing, it’s mainly with the aim to maintain a good body figure. Once you realize that dancing can help you focus and memorize lines more easily, this activity becomes much more attractive. Does it not?

It doesn’t matter whether you’re ten or eighty years old; the benefits are the same for every age. Cognitive skills help you remember things, read, think, and learn new things.

All these brain activities are meant to digest information and transform it into basic knowledge. Basically, without these skills you’d have a hard time remembering the script.

How do body movements make you more focused?

Dancing improves blood circulation, allowing your brain to receive more oxygen and glucose. These effects automatically boost your brain’s functions and make it healthier. If your brain is healthier, your chances of developing a mental disease decrease big time.

You won’t have to worry about abandoning acting too early because of memory decaying with age, something that happened to Marlon Brando and Jack Nicholson.

Dancing can help you keep it fresh. The same study mentioned earlier shows how a regular dancer has 76% less chances of developing dementia. Pretty cool, huh?

RELATED: 11 Best Dance Schools in London

An Actor Has to Be Smart. Dancing Can Boost Your Intelligence!

When you dance, you use more brain functions at the same time: emotional, rational, kinesthetic, and musical functions are present every time you perform this activity. It is believed to be one of the most complex sports, and that is because it requires intelligence and cognitive skills.

Intelligence is more about making quick and smart decisions rather than knowing a lot of things. Dancers are known to be “bodily-intelligent”. The quick definition for this term would be: the ability to quickly convert thoughts and emotions into action.

Doesn’t that remind you of a skill that’s essential for acting? Whenever you act or dance, you’re making a lot of unconscious moves – and they’re all linked to your intelligence and cognitive skills.

Richard Powers, a passionate researcher on this topic, suggests that the best way of improving your intelligence is by doing all kind of activities that require you to make fast decisions. The more quickly the decision must be taken (like making an extra step while dancing), the more your cognitive skills improve.

Daily Shoots Are Tough. Dancing Makes You Relaxed.

How Dancing Helps Actors

Apart from its intelligence boosting benefit, dancing is also extremely beneficial for actors who deal with a lot of stress in their lives.

When you dance, your organism flushes out many body toxins that build up in time. These toxins are the main causes for stress, and the more you move your body and practice this amazing activity, the more you reduce the stress in your body and mind. It’s similar to doing yoga.

Life isn’t easy for most of us and necessary daily activities and shoots don’t actually help your brain relax. Dancing is a productive distraction from all that’s happening around you because it doesn’t let you think of anything else except from what move you should do next.

You’ll Memorize the Scripts Easily!

Here’s something you didn’t know: dancing is proven to increase your long term memory by sparking brain cells that are responsible for gaining knowledge. These cells are called neurogenesis, and their main role is to connect your thoughts.

Our memory is created and maintained by billions of electric active cells (neurons). Whenever you dance, these connections somehow grow stronger and therefore strengthen the memory muscles found in your cerebellum.

It makes sense considering the fact that whenever you learn a specific theater move, or a dance move, your brain has to remember the exact movements and steps that you’re about to perform on stage.

More Happiness + Less Anxiety = Better Acting

Dancing and Acting

Your mood is mostly influenced by the number of endorphins released in your brain. All that stress you go through on a daily basis doesn’t do you well.

People are expecting you to give your best during every single scene you perform, and they have certain ideas about the way you should behave in public. You simply need an activity that helps you relax, and dancing is the perfect choice to make.

An interesting article published by Psychology Today shows that people who dance regularly experience greater mental benefits than people who practice other sports or simply go to the gym.

Another study published by Prevention suggests that dancers can significantly reduce their anxiety and depression just by attaining weekly dance classes.

During this experiment, 112 teenage girls were organized in two groups and been carefully examined by health professionals. Half of them were attaining dancing lessons weekly, while the rest of them didn’t. Here are the results: the girls who danced every week felt less anxious, less stressed, and more satisfied with their lives in a matter of days.

Just Dance!

You don’t have to be a talented dancer in order to get all these amazing benefits. Most people aren’t, and most of the studies mentioned above have dealt with regular people who practiced dancing as a hobby.

Of course, if you’re a really good dancer, you have more chances of exhibiting these empowering effects causes by this healthy activity. So don’t forget to practice more and get better with time. Who knows, maybe you’ll be the next star of a dance-themed movie?

If you want to convince yourself of the great benefits you can gain by moving your body to the rhythm of the music, then make dancing a regular habit and adapt it to your lifestyle as soon as possible. The results will appear immediately. After only one session of dancing, you’ll most certainly feel more active, focused, energized, and relaxed.

This guest article was written by Mary Kleim, a digital marketing specialist. Today she is working for writing project Assignment Masters. Dancing is her hobby and passion. Her favorite dancing type is Chicago Stepping. She dreams to launch her own classes and share her passion and experience with others.