Updated: May 16
It comes to no surprise that dance is a physical sport. Due to the ongoing debate on whether it is considered a sport or not, I encourage you to ask every dancer you know and they will probably give you the same answer, it’s probably yes haha. With the constant use of our bodies to create something for others to enjoy, it can take a toll on our bodies; that’s why so many dancers need to be able to keep up with their art. While taking care of our bodies is part of our art, dance alone has so many physical benefits that you might not know of.
All styles of dance hold physical benefits, whether it is salsa, hip hop, lyrical or ballet. Dance holds physicality as a high priority and benefit when moving your body. To begin, dance is a cardio workout. The constant moves whether slow, fast or a mixture of both; your heart rate is on the increase and you can definitely feel it. The constant moving keeps our stamina and endurance up as we move and our body benefits on that. The constant repetition of those moves also helps build the muscles in your arms, core and legs (let me tell you! Dancers have some strong legs). With constant back to back practices or performances, dancers' heart rates are up and the adrenaline that we feel pumps us through the rest of the day.
In addition to cardio, it was briefly mentioned above that when dancing you use your entire body. Each style of dance enhances certain parts of the body more than the other, but in the heart of it all, our entire body feels endurance. For example, in ballet, you core is a huge aspect when dancing, the use of strength in our core help us to carry our leg in an Adage (basically when your leg is extended either in front, behind, or beside you), to fouetté (to turn), or to arabesque (holding one leg in the air while balancing on the other). With all of this in mind, the physical input this has on your body helps strengthen your core, legs, and upper body when attempting to do these moves. When practicing to perfect these moves multiple times engages all aspects of your body so you are aware of the muscles you are using and how to use them.
Body awareness and balance
When using your entire body while dancing, you are also ensuring your balance and body awareness. Body awareness, although not usually the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about the physical benefits of dance, plays a huge role in the way one uses their body. Body awareness and balance helps us ensure what parts of our body we are using and how to engage them properly when performing a move. For example, when in hip hop being aware of your lower body such as your stance, feet work and rhythm help you perform the moves properly. Dance holds every aspect of your body into consideration and body awareness and balance plays a huge role in doing so.
The list of physical benefits to dance can go on forever; ultimately, dance is a great way to get exercise, have fun and express yourself through a creative outlet. The added benefits of improving your physical strength are just the icing on the cake! If you are interested in starting a journey through the movement of dance, be sure to check out STU Arts dance online dance classes here! here’s to getting fit and having fun while doing so!