By Tola Gbadamosi
Dance halls tend to be sweaty places for a reason. The shakes burn energy like you would not believe and reduce stress,
Dance also serves as an expression of culture. We strongly believe that people should have the opportunity to express themselves through dance, either to relieve stress, or simply for the love of it.
Like other forms of cardio exercise, dancing also seems to have mood and mind benefits. It is reported that hip hop dancing improves energy, buoys mood and lowered stress in ways similar to aerobic exercise.
Dancing also seems to encourage social bonding and what psychologists call “self-other merging.” Like chatting with a stranger and finding out you both attended the same school or grew up in the same neighbouhood, moving and grooving in rhythm with others light up brain pathways that blur the barriers your mind erects between yourself and a stranger, and so helps you feel a sense of connection and sameness.
When you dance you can expend more than 300 calories every half-hour, according to a report from Professor Ojemeh of department of Human Kinesthetics at the University of Benin which says that “It meets or exceeds the amount of energy you burn during an easy run or swim.”
“Even relatively tame forms of dance burn about the same number of calories as cycling.
It is recorded that dancing demands a lot of energy output because it involves “movement” in all directions.
Furthermore, the Principal lecturer said”while running, swimming and engaged in other propulsive forms of physical activity one can use rhythm and momentum to keep moving.
“There is a lot of accelerating and decelerating in dancing, which the body is less able to do in an energy efficient way.
“If running is like driving on a freeway, dancing is more like motoring through a busy city”, he says.
“Starting, stopping and changing directions burns a ton of fuel even though you are not covering a lot of ground.
“Of course, the amount of energy you expend has a lot to do with how hard you are pushing yourself. A gentle two-step is not going to measure up to an intense, hilly run.
“But burning calories is not the only upside to dancing.”
Wellness & Fitness had a chat with a dance instructor, Mr Biodun Babalola who had a Dancers Day Out’, to bring together friends and relatives to showcase ways to relieve stress.
He said the rationale behind the show, was to showcase dance as an integral part of everyday living, bring lovers of dance, expressionists and those interested together for a timeout and to have fun.
Describing dance as an art that refers to movement of the body, Biodun stated that it is used as a form of expression, entertainment, social interaction and presented in a performance setting as an integral part of everyday living.
“I started dancing since when I was young. I love anything that has to do with expression, using my body to create piece and interpreting things bodywise” , he said.
Biodun maintained that dance encompasses many health benefits, ranging from building confidence and self-esteem to increasing fitness.
The fitness trainer also revealed that dance can be a way to stay fit for people of all ages, shapes and sizes, adding that it has a wide range of physical and mental benefits which include improved condition of heart and lungs, stronger bones and reduced risk of osteoporosis, increased aerobic fitness and increased physical confidence.
He admonished parents to encourage their children to dance and help them develop any talent discovered in them, so that when they graduate, they won’t return home and become a burden to them in the absence of government jobs.
Mr Muyiwa Aderomola who is a dance expert also concluded that “the touch aspect of dancing with a partner may offer some special perks. Touch is the first sense that emerges during infancy, and the more some experts examine the benefits of massaging, holding hands and other forms of human-to-human physical contact, the more they find that touching improves well-being and reduces stress and anxiety.
” Basically, dancing with someone else is like exercise and a hug rolled together.
“Put all these together, and it’s clear we could all use more samba, salsa or boot scootin’ in our lives.”