Why Do You Think You Like To Dance?

October 16, 2016

FADS why do you like to dance blogWhat is it, exactly, that makes us like to dance? Why does the movement and the expression of dance give us such pleasure?

Scientific American magazine offers a number of reasons. Now, here at Fred Astaire Franchised Dance Studios, we’d probably say we like to dance because it’s fun, it’s social, it builds confidence and it’s such a healthy activity. Scientific American is a little more, uh, scientific.

Here’s what Scientific American says: “So, why is dance pleasurable?

“First, people speculate that music was created through rhythmic movement—think: tapping your foot. Second, some reward-related areas in the brain are connected with motor areas. Third, mounting evidence suggests that we are sensitive and attuned to the movements of others’ bodies, because similar brain regions are activated when certain movements are both made and observed. For example, the motor regions of professional dancers’ brains show more activation when they watch other dancers compared with people who don’t dance.

“This kind of finding has led to a great deal of speculation with respect to mirror neurons—cells found in the cortex, the brain’s central processing unit, that activate when a person is performing an action as well as watching someone else do it. Increasing evidence suggests that sensory experiences are also motor experiences. Music and dance may just be particularly pleasurable activators of these sensory and motor circuits. So, if you’re watching someone dance, your brain’s movement areas activate; unconsciously, you are planning and predicting how a dancer would move based on what you would do.”

See? We can’t help but enjoy dancing. And for the best in ballroom dance instruction – all styles of dance, from the foxtrot to the rumba to the tango and more – visit your Fred Astaire Franchised Dance Studio and take a group class or private lesson. You’ll soon have others tapping their toes and up on the dance floor!

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