Dancing is a form of recreation, exercise, art, and self-expression. Dancing provides an emotional, as well as physical release within the body. Movement stimulates our entire being to express ourselves, releasing the unhealthy stress and rigidity of our minds and bodies, allowing ourselves to feel joy and to reconnect to our inner spirit.
One of the best benefits of dancing is its anti-aging effect on the brain. In a recent study, senior citizens took a 90-minute dance lesson each week; after 18 months their hippocampus grew larger. This is the region of the brain which controls memory, learning and balance and is one of the first areas affected by dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Usually the hippocampus shrinks with age, but it seems learning, more than just performing, dance routines offers age defying perks for the brain.
Interestingly those who changed partners more often benefited more than those who stayed with the same dance partner, although the reason is not absolute it’s possible that they had to adjust to the new partner and make more split-second decisions to adapt to their different style. Women may also benefit slightly more than men because they follow their male partner’s lead, and thus are constantly having to make rapid-fire decisions. But men can also benefit by becoming more attentive to their partner’s style, adjusting for continuity of motion, and becoming a better dancer, which will also improve their brain’s cognitive abilities.
Best of all dancing is fun whether we freestyle, group or couples dance and we can choose styles from ballet to ballroom. However, it should be noted the dancers in the recent study practiced freestyle social dancing, and in particular foxtrot, waltz, swing, tango and Latin dance. In addition to reducing one’s risk of dementia here are some additional benefits:
Increased strength, stamina and overall health: Dancing can strengthen your heart, lungs, bones, muscles and increase your stamina and energy, reduce your risk of osteoporosis, aid in the prevention of diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
Building motor skills: When a movement is repeated over time, motor functions such as balance and coordination improve by eventually performing the movement without conscious effort. This is also referred to as long term muscle memory, which is very beneficial for those with Parkinson’s.
Better posture and flexibility: Over time dancing widens your range of motion, posture and flexibility.
Relaxation: Dancing allows you to live in the moment, focusing on the music and dance steps, which naturally decreases stress. It also increases the amount of endorphins in the brain, resulting in a sense of well-being and calmness.
Communication and socializing: Dancing allows self-expression, which increases confidence, connects the mind and the body and general attentiveness. Dancing is a great way to meet new friends, in a safe and comfortable environment, while strengthening your social and communication skills.
Muscle tone and weight loss: Dance is aerobic exercise and is just as effective as jogging or cycling in improving body composition and aerobic strength.
Boosts memory: Dancing combines several brain functions at once: kinesthetic, rational, musical and emotional, such exercises increase new neural pathways which help improve your memory.
Today is the last day of the Right to Life Community Sale held at the Versailles K of C Hall from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. For those who are ready to dance check out the Greenville American Legion tonight (Friday) and the New Madison American Legion on Saturday night. Music by Zeb & Jeff starts at 8 p.m. both nights. Also, this weekend is the White Oaks Jamboree (for more information you may visit them on Facebook). Don’t forget this Sunday (Aug. 12) the Greenville Municipal Band performs in the Marling Band Shell located in the Greenville Park at 7 p.m. (In Memory of Ken McCoy).
Friday, Aug. 17 the Great Darke County Fair begins. Saturday evening, Aug. 18 Zeb & Jeff will perform at the Greenville VFW and don’t forget Sunday, Aug. 19 there will be a chicken fry benefit for Kellie Gehret at Goat Farmers.
Best wishes and congratulations to the owners of Endless Pint Brewing, 39 E. Main St., Versailles, for their Grand Opening, which will be held Thursday-Saturday, Aug. 16-19 from 3-10 p.m. Thanks to Bill Barga for this week’s topic.
Happy birthday to Barb Westgerdes, Sarah Selhorst, Owen Thomas Lester (3), Bob Hartzell, Nathan Hayes, Jackson Timmerman, Rose Lawrence, Tiffanie Mora, Kim Ward, Dane Nagel, Jeanette Barga, Mike Goubeaux, Storm Davis, Lacey Lewis, Kristen Collins, Laura Beireis, Barb Berger, Mary Jo Deal, Cheryl Huelskamp, Barb Siegel, Cheryl Magoto, Cindy Miller, Lois Knapke, Kelly Francis, Stacy Dirksen, Erin Rismiller, Chris Kemper, Ryland Breeding, Megan Wuebker, Dave Huelskamp, Lisa Voisard, Pete Magoto, Jenni Johns, Dan Bensman and Susan Fields as their birthdays approach as well as, anniversary wishes to Kim and Scott Ward (13), Audra and Mitch Wietholter (15), Ann and Brad Yerick (16), Kim and Pat Custenborder (23), Kelly and Tony Luthman (23), Amy and Robert Kozak (?), Melanie and Jim Huffman (31), Melissa and Robert Fraley (32), Eileen and Chris Cox (36), Donna and Jim Monnier (37), Vicki and Ron Schulze (39), Connie and Jeff Stammen (40), Jennie and Ted Baltes (44), Shirley and John Huddle (53), Collette and Lester Kueterman (56), Bernice and Richard Berger (57), Kay and Dave Holfinger (59), and Sally and Don Hampshire (67).
Please give your supportive and healing prayers for the many who are dealing with any of life’s countless challenges, and especially for Lori Skinner, Fr. John White, Holly Finnarn, Susie Hileman, Kellie Gehret, Shirley Tapp, Larry Brown, Becca Pohl Liette, Dean Kreitzer, Elaine Brown, Jim Kelch, Karen Hilgefort, Tracey Sowards, Scarlet Unrast, Beanie Batty, Tami Russell, Jenni Meyer, Donna Apple, Marcia Davidson, Alice Luthman, Michelle Sherman, Miriam Harman, Patricia Borchers, Bob Miller, Iona Gariety, Loretta Bey, Steve Bey, Aiden Myers, Betty Brown, Lois Knapke, Claire Owens, Angie Keiser, Jerry Paulus, Janice Berger, Janet Folkerth, Beverly Brown, Cyril Frantz, Jack Borgerding, Alvira Marchal, Earl Gigandet, Carolyn “Pooch” Barga, Ruth Wirrig, Carl DeMange, Mary Seman, Marge Prakel, Mary Batty, Norma Magoto, Betty Kremer, Virginia Smith, Anabelle Subler, Lois Youngker, Barb Goubeaux, Eileen Rahm, Carol Laub, Samantha Smith and those not mentioned by name who are recuperating, hospitalized, homebound and/or in need of our prayers.
Please join in extending your heartfelt sympathy to the families and friends of Daniel Goubeaux (63), Cathy Tate (64), Norma Jean Rismiller (86), and also remembering within our hearts Larry Heitkamp, Barb Monnier, Joyce McEldowney, Darla Robbins, John Sargent, Brother Jude Brown, Pat Hiatt, Bud Wirrig, Eleanora Zumwald, Edith Richhart, LuEmma Horine, Ruth and Harold Knapke, Jan Francis, Jeff Moorman, Mary Hartzell, Joan Selzer, Dale Gariety, John Voisard, Wilma Francis, George Wooley, George Mangen, Maria Dircksen, Esther Pitsenbarger, Lawrence Grewe and all those not mentioned by name as the anniversary of their passing nears.
“To watch us dance is to hear our hearts speak.” ~Hopi Indian Saying
“Dance to Express Not to Impress.” ~Unknown
“Dance is a Conversation between the Body and Soul” ~Unknown
“If you dance with your Heart, your Body will follow.” ~Mia Michaels
Kathy Magoto is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her Friday Versailles community column. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 526-3798. Feel free to contact her with Versailles news and tidbits. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.