Dance Therapy -The Healing Power of Dance

ABCD - Any Body Can Dance !!!

Dance for Special Children

Children with special needs such as the mentally challenged, physically disabled, slow learners, emotionally disturbed with cerebral palsy and autism can be helped with dance therapy.

It can also be used to address communication problems in special children. It not only helps in communication but also boosts their confidence and helps them get in touch with their emotions.

Dance Therapy: Health and Healing

Dance is one of the most attractive arts that involve direct expression through the body. It has long been fundamental to man's existence as an expression of life itself and has been used therapeutically for thousands of years. The dance that is performed with the perfect blend of body-mind component is considered to be an absolute dance. It has been an important part of self-expression, religious events and health in most cultures throughout history.

Kids usually do a little jig when they feel happy. It’s an expression of sheer enjoyment. Dance energizes and lightens up your day when you are happy as well as sad, angry or depressed. It’s not necessary that you have to be a trained dancer so that you could discover the feel –good factor of dance.

The Healing Power of Dance- Dance Therapy

Dance is a direct expression of oneself through the body and understanding the body and our relationship with it can open the doorway to the psyche. The therapeutic use of movement to improve the mental and physical well-being of a person is dance therapy. It works by exploring one’s body language and its movement patterns and focuses on the connection between the mind and body to promote health and healing. It’s an expressive therapy, which is based on the assumption that the body and mind are in constant reciprocal interaction. The most important catalyst in dance therapy is rhythm.

What does Dance Therapy involve?

A nonverbal language that provides information about what is going on in our bodies is developed by dance therapists. A therapist makes an evaluation by observing a person’s movements. Then a program is designed to help the specific condition. According to the needs of the participants the frequency and level of difficulty of the therapy is customized. Dance therapy is widely used with people of different concerns – social, emotional, cognitive or physical. It is also used as a tool in the recovery process of chronic diseases. Dance therapy can be used in both individuals and groups.

Dance helps to burn calories and fats
Dance helps to burn calories and fats

Health benefits of Dance Therapy

Dance therapy is found to have a broad range of health benefits. It is proved to be clinically effective for physical as well as psychological fitness. The gracious movements of dance are being used today to heal because of their therapeutic effects. In dance therapy various dance forms can be employed for both physical and emotional aspects of quality of life.

The children who are stiff and lost can be made more expressive with the help of dance therapy. Through dance, they can be made to understand themselves deeply and develop the body-mind equation in various day to day activities.

  • Dance helps to burn calories and fats and hence is the best option for controlling weight.

  • Dance is the best medicine for people who have many kinds of emotional problems or life threatening illness.

  • Dance is a very effective tool for heart patients as it reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases. It is considered to be a much better option than other aerobic exercises like cycling.
  • Dance is an innovative way to relax and get away from pain.

  • Dance is very effective at improving body image, self-esteem, attentiveness, and communication skills.

  • Dance can reduce stress, fears and anxieties, as well as lessen feelings of isolation, body tension, chronic pain, and depression.

  • Dance has been successfully used to deal with psychiatric patients, mentally handicapped, visually and hearing impaired ones.
  • Dance has got a great role in tackling with the grave problem of obesity.

  • Dance therapy deals successfully with patients suffering from brain injury, stroke, cancer, arthritis and other physical ailments.

The Similarities and Differences Between Therapeutic Dance and Dance Movement Therapy

Dance therapy in Classroom
Dance therapy in Classroom | Source

Dance in Classroom

Dance should be made relevant in classrooms. Teachers and students should be inspired to explore the possibility of adapting dance in teaching and learning. In a geometry class, in order to explain about angles, sides and area, children could be assembled to form a triangle or the shape being taught. Allow them to use body movements and utilize space so that they remember the particular topic for ever. The same method can be applied in Physics to teach them about the solid, liquid and gaseous states. This helps them learn by seeing and visualizing.

Teachers should be trained and given ideas on how different activities could be built up on to suit classroom sessions. Dance therapy can throw light on free style techniques to unlock children’s capacity to express thoughts and ideas through their own body language. It can also enhance children’s social skills and explores their creativity and imagination. The freedom should be provided by schools for teachers and students to experiment with dance and other forms to make it feasible.

Dance Styles Poll

What’s your favorite dance style? Tell us why in my comment section below

  • Ballroom
  • Contemporary
  • Bollywood
  • Hip-Hop
  • Belly Dance
  • Folk Dance
  • Others
See results without voting

Most of the people don’t give much importance to the body. If body and mind are integrated, a person can cope with anger, stress and sorrow therapeutically. Dance therapists actually don’t teach dance, but engages body movements to understand and help the patient. After being introduced to art, positive behavioral changes are found among children in juvenile homes and rehabilitation centers. Art by itself is a healer and any form of expressive art is a good way to understand the emotions through non-verbal and metaphorical communication. Since words alone cannot explain the degree of a situation always.

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To Start Again profile image

To Start Again 3 years ago

NECD-Not everyone can dance, i.e. me lol

I like the little reminder at the end there. Great idea! May have to try that one myself!! :)

Kevin Peter profile image

Kevin Peter 3 years ago from Global Citizen Author

@to start again - You can try to dance . Thanks for your comments

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