Better Dancer, Better Student

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Lauren Kot
A female student holding a ballet pose in an empty dance studio.

College is a great time to start developing new skills, especially when they help you in your success as a healthy, learning student. What skills am I referring to? You may be thinking of skills such as communication, time-management, or teamwork. Although these are very helpful and necessary to academic success, another skill you should explore as a college student is dancing! There is no better time than now in college to take a dance class. In addition to being a fun way to express yourself, dancing is also a great way to strengthen both your body and mind.

Strengthen Your Mind

Dancing benefits you in many ways that can result in better brain function. It has been shown to:

  • Improve memory
  • Improve critical thinking skills
  • Stimulate new neural connections
  • Reduce stress
  • Improve physical health

Dancing requires a lot of memorization, and the practice of remembering moves and executing them helps build the brain’s ability to access stored information. Dancing also forces students to quickly learn that solutions to problems can take many forms and helps in developing better critical thinking skills. In addition to bettering memory and critical thinking, the combination of movement and sensory enrichment during dancing has been shown to improve neuroplasticity (the ability to form new neural connections). Talk about having a positive impact on the brain! Dancing stimulates the growth of new neurons, leading to a healthier brain and a lesser chance of developing neurological diseases later in life.

Strengthen Your Body

Just like other forms of physical activity, dancing reduces stress and improves overall physical health. Dancing releases dopamine and endorphins to make you happy, in addition to increasing levels of serotonin and reducing levels of cortisol to help alleviate stress. It also boosts creativity and provides a healthy way to express yourself. Dancing is a very aerobic form of exercise, so it helps overall physical health by improving cardiovascular health, strengthening muscles, and increasing endurance. It also increases flexibility and improves balance and coordination!

Have I convinced you to start dancing yet? The number of benefits that surround dance completely outweigh the trouble of finding a dance class and fitting it into your schedule. The improvement of mental and physical health that dance provides will only make you a better college student. Improved memory, critical thinking skills, neural connections, physical health, and reduced stress are all things that will help you better succeed in college. Better dancer means better student, so start dancing!

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