Science Proves Dancing Makes You Healthier and Happier

Article by: Laura Mason|@masonlazarus

Mon December 07, 2015 | 00:00 AM

We all know jogging, yoga, and anything you do in a gym floods your brains with endorphins, reducing pain and lifting our moods in the process. Turns out, dancing is no different. Whether you're dancing to electronic music at a festival, cutting a rug at a wedding, or performing a dance ritual that's been part of your culture for millenia, there are many ways dancing improves your health.

Northern Nights Music Festival 2015 Christine Ciarcia Dancing

Research out of Australia's Better Health Channel states that, among many other benefits, dancing improves the condition of your heart and lungs, increases your aerobic fitness, strengthens your bones and reduces the risk of osteoporosis, offers better coordination, agility and flexibility, increased physical confidence, improved mental functioning, improved general and psychological wellbeing, greater self-confidence and self-esteem, and even better social skills! That might explain the absolute high we feel when bouncing around to our favorite artists and performers.

Bass Coast 2015 Prettylips Danceyhips Photography   47

Coupled with the cathartic benefits of music, many of us feel bonded with one another when dancing together – because it also turns out that dancing in groups helps our brains release oxytocin – that happy neurohormone that makes us feel uber connected to those around us.

Lucidity 2015 Juliana Bernstein   22

This just makes us even more thankful for festivals. Because luckily, even if a cultural tradition that uses movement as a form of spiritual expression (like the Mevlana Whirling Dervishes, for instance), we festies still have the opportunity to use dance as a way to better our spirits, bodies, and relationships with one another. Festivals excel at blending dance, music, and art into truly immersive environments we can't help but get caught up in – something communities all over the world have been doing for centuries. Festivals are the modern version of that. Combined with workshops and yoga, festival programming is truly on the cutting edge, enriching lives through creating community and opportunities for unbridled expression, like dancing.

Now get out there and move!