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How Celebrating International Dance Day Can Boost Mental Health

Throughout our lives, dance accompanies us like a familiar melody, yet its significance often extends beyond mere recreation. Despite its perception as a recreational pursuit, dance harbors profound potential for mental well-being. It's the rhythmic language of the body, a medium for expression, energy release, and sheer enjoyment. As we approach International Dance Day, join us on a journey to uncover the myriad ways dance intertwines with mental health, offering unexpected avenues for healing and growth.

What is International Dance Day?

On April 29th, communities worldwide unite to celebrate International Dance Day, a vibrant homage to the artistry and diversity of movement. This date marks the birth of Jean-Georges Noverre, the visionary French dancer renowned as the pioneer of modern ballet. While rooted in balletic traditions, International Dance Day transcends boundaries, embracing a kaleidoscope of global dance forms, from the exuberance of Bollywood to the grace of China's Dragon Dances.

Unveiling Dance Movement Therapy

Movement and exercise in any form can be positively impactful for mental health. Dance Movement Therapy, also known as DMT, harnesses movement to foster emotional, social, cognitive, and physical integration, promoting overall health and well-being. Originating in the 1940s, DMT acknowledges the interconnectedness of mind, body, and spirit. Therapists utilize dance observations to tailor interventions, addressing social, emotional, and cognitive facets of clients' lives. Beyond emotional and mental improvements, DMT yields physical benefits, including enhanced sleep and increased energy.

DMT has been known to help with a variety of conditions including depression, eating disorders, PTSD, dementia, anxiety, autism, and other mental health conditions. One meta-analysis shows that DMT has been shown to decrease anxiety and depression and improve quality of life, interpersonal skills, and cognitive skills.

The Dance of Physical Activity and Mental Health

The aspect of physical movement associated with DMT is crucial to enhancing mental health and aiding with various conditions. Physical movement and exercise are shown to be extremely beneficial to mental health in a variety of ways. Benefits include improving anxiety and depression symptoms by releasing feel-good endorphins and helping redirect focus so the person struggling can take their mind off of their worries. Exercise has been shown to aid in gaining confidence, getting more social interaction, coping in a healthy way, and more. Physical activity such as dance has also been shown to help with sleep issues that can cause mental health problems. Psychological effects of exercise include enhancing self-esteem and mood while lowering stress. Overall, there have been numerous studies done on the benefits of exercise on mental health and there is overwhelming evidence to back up the fact that physical activities, such as dance, can be positively impactful on one’s mental health.

How to Celebrate International Dance Day

At Axis Integrated Mental Health, we know that holistic health includes movement and community. Here are some ways that dance can improve your mental health and some local places in Denver and Boulder County where you can celebrate International Dance Day with others.

Celebrate International Dance Day in Aurora

  1. Basma Dance & Fitness:
    • Offers a wide array of dance, fitness, and healing classes.
    • They offer $20 drop-in classes and four different types of class packages!
    • Provides both in-person and online class options.

Celebrate International Dance Day in Louisville

    1. Arthur Murray Dance Center:
      • Welcomes singles, couples, and beginners.
      • Offers diverse dance styles, including Ballroom, Latin, and Swing.
    2. Streetside Dance:
      • Catering to all experience levels and ages.
      • Classes range from Hip Hop to Ballet.
    3. The Dance Front:
      • Provides adult-focused classes, including Move Fitness blending dance and physical activity.

    Turn Up the Music, Boost Your Mood, and Just Dance!

    Let the music be your guide to a happier, healthier you – just dance! You don't have to wait for International Dance Day to experience the mental health perks of dance. With its fusion of physical activity and joyous self-expression, dance serves as a vibrant outlet for enhancing well-being every day. Whether it's through local classes or impromptu living room sessions, seize the opportunity to make dance a part of your mental health regimen. At Axis, we're committed to providing diverse treatment options as part of holistic mental health care, ensuring every individual finds their path to wellness. Let's dance our way to brighter days together!

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