Last week, I attended Mom Stomp: A dance party charity event put on by moms to benefit other moms. It rocked. I got to leave my kids at home and go dance my heart out while helping out the YWCA. Win-win-win. After I came home, I realized that I don’t dance enough anymore, and I would probably be happier if I did. So, I’m going to, and I’m going to learn all about the benefits of dance and tell you why you should dance more, too.
- To make lasting friendships
At this dance party last week, I came stag thinking I would know at least a few people there, but I didn’t. Awkward. You guys, I’m really not that outgoing — I’m not super comfortable introducing myself to someone I’ve never met before — but I LOVE to dance. So I danced. I danced my way over to the corner with my fancy Diet Coke, and I swayed to the beat while I did some people-watching. Then, this awesome girl started dancing next to me, introduced herself, and introduced me to all her friends. We were instant buds and had a blast dancing all night.
Some of my very closest friends are the ones I grew up dancing with. There is just something about dancing together that can bind people for life. In fact, I just learned that your body can produce oxytocin when you dance! Yes, the “hormone of love” that binds you to your spouse and children and gives you feelings of joy and elation is made when you dance with others. Amazing, right?! I think so.
- To move!
Dance is a great physical activity! We all know that there are endless benefits of exercise. I want to highlight just a few:
- Better moods
When you dance — or do any cardiovascular activity — your brain releases dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. These neurotransmitters can lift your spirits and are essential to regulating your moods and fighting depression. As a postpartum mother, I need to move, and I need to dance in order to feel well.
- Better sleep
Sleep is so important to me (maybe because my children have deprived me of it for so long). Physical activity has been shown to help you fall asleep faster and achieve deeper sleep. When I came home from Mom Stomp (and danced off the rest of my energy), I slept like a baby. Fortunately, my babies slept too. Aren’t they so much more beautiful when they sleep?
- Better energy levels
Regular exercise — or regular dance — improves muscle strength and endurance, as well as cardiovascular strength and endurance. When your heart pumps blood more efficiently and your lungs are nice and strong, you will have more energy to go about your daily life. As a mother of twins, I can never get enough energy. Trying to work out sometimes feels like a chore, but dancing can just happen. I’m making it a goal to turn on the music more often and get dancing.
Speaking of music, you should dance more:
- To sing
Music and dance go together better than peanut butter and jelly. Much like exercising, singing and listening to music can reduce stress, lift your spirits, and improve your memory. Remember dopamine? Listening to and making music can also allow for dopamine release in your brain, which plays a role in learning and memory. Since I’ve been so sleep deprived, forming new memories is not easy anymore. I could definitely use some more music and dance in my life.
I grew up dancing, and dance is a passion of mine that I miss deeply. I’m going to use these new discoveries to help me remember to dance more. One of the items on my Perfect Dream House Wish List is a ballroom so that I can host dance parties regularly. I want everyone I love to dance with me and be filled with joy!