Benefits of dance

In this blog find out the benefits of dance particulary when you dance with a prop.

What are the benefits of dancing with props?

Benefits of dance

Each month we like to highlight the benefits of dance particulary relating to the dances we have learnt in our Keep Dancing classes. It is well documented that dance has many health and wellbeing benefits improving balance, stamina, cognitive thinking, coordination, strength and mobility all important factors for healthy ageing.    Different dance styles promote different health benefits.

Variety is the spice of life and actually we as human beings thrive on variety. This is why Xpress-Yourself Dance CIC Keep Dancing dance classes change our music playlist, dance routines and styles of dance each month to offer you variety.

In January Xpress-Yourself Dance CIC introduced Theatre Jazz with a hat to our Keep Dancing dance classes. 

Just to make sure we helped to get those brains back into gear after the Christmas break we wanted you to really feel the benefits of dance and what better way than to introduce a prop. So this month the benefits of dance will relate to the theatre jazz dance with a hat.

The idea of using hats in theatre jazz was founded by the American Director, dancer and choreographer Bob Fosse in the 20th century, when he completely revolutionized musical theatre. Fosse’s trademark use of hats was apparently because he was self-conscious, according to Martin Gottfried in his biography of Fosse, “His baldness was the reason that he wore hats and was doubtless why he put hats on his dancers.”

Fosse also disliked his hands so often used gloves in his performances. Find out more about Bob Fosse here . Whilst Fosse might have introduced the use of Hat for aesthetic reasons it sure adds a whole new dimension when learning a new routine.

Here are benefits of dance and particulary the benefits of why dancing with a prop is good for you.

Improving your coordination

When you have something else to move and hold you suddenly feel like you are tapping your head and rubbing your tummy and definitely makes you feel as if your brain is working hard. As we age our dopamine -producing cells decrease, which can slow down your movements and reduce your coordination. So actually moving with different parts of your body all at once is incredible for maintaining or improving your coordination.

Improving your balance

Whilst you might be standing on one leg and lifting your hat in the same or opposite hand you are challenging your balance therefore creating pathways in your brain to work out how to safely land on one or both feet without stumbling. This then prepares your brain in your every day life when you are walking on uneven surfaces to give your brain confidence to react quickly of where you should place your feet so that you are steady.

Improving your thinking

Holding onto a prop in our case a hat, whilst it might add to the aesthetics of the dance the lifting the hat, throwing catching of the hat works your brain hard. Catching an item activates  all four lobes of the brain and catching a hat in our case can be said to demonstrate high levels of cognitive efficiency. Moving your prop alongside moving your feet and stepping in different directions is cognitively complex movement, catching is linked to brain efficiency. It’s not just a symptom of higher thinking, it enables it. 

Every time the lobes of the brain ‘speak’ to one another to ensure a successful catch, the pathways between them get smoother. These pathways are used for many other tasks. many other tasks. Proving that practice makes permanent!  

Benefits of dance

So everyone who came along this month and gave dancing with your hat a chance, hats off to you, we hope that you feel a little smarter.

Keep Dancing dance classes run across the West Midlands and online. Keep Dancing dance classes suitable for those over 50 with no need for a partner. Whether you’re a beginner. have danced before or haven’t danced in a while Keep Dancing is the perfect dance class for you. You will learn dances from around the world with no partner required. Keep Dancing dance classes can help to improve your health and wellbeing, keep you strong and steady and also encourage healthy ageing. 

Keep Dancing classes run in Aldridge, West Bromwich, Shirley, Knowle, Marston Green, Bentley Heath, Harborne, Moseley, Quinton, Sheldon, Garretts Green, Acocks Green and Sutton Coldfield. Booking in advance is essential, however you can book your dance class each week. You can book your Keep Dancing class here