Health & Medical Self-Improvement

Can You Dance Your Way to Happiness?

Austrian writer Vicki Baum wrote "there are short cuts to happiness and dancing is one of them".
Dancing is a global experience.
Practically every culture, ancient and modern, has its own form of dance.
Dance has been used for expression, story telling, the marking of occasions and as a form of celebration throughout the ages.
Many would agree that because of the way in which we use it, dance can make us happy.
Dance can change the way we feel in many ways, whether we are partaking ourselves or watching others do so.
It can be an emotive experience to watch, it can lift our spirits to participate.
Dancing is physical and can bring about the benefits of exercise.
Dancing is flexible, it can be done in a group, a partnership or on one's own and it can be done anywhere.
It can help us meet other people, form relationships and bring about a freedom of expression that we may not have access to through other ways.
In the last century the recognition of the power that dance has over our feelings and emotions has led to the development of dance therapy.
Dance therapy essentially uses movement and dance to bring about healing.
Dance and movement therapy employs expression through movement for cognitive, emotional and physical development as well as for other areas such as social integration and rehabilitation.
Dance and movement therapy programs are employed across a wide range of health care provision, from nursing homes, in patient care, educational centers and day care centers.
Research into those therapeutic qualities has found that dance can open up avenues for expression that may not be accessible through other circumstances.
It has been found to provide those suffering from neurological disorders, particularly children, with a form of expression that they have not been able to achieve through conventional language.
Dance and movement therapy was also employed as part of a rehabilitation program for some of the children affected by Haiti's 2010 earthquake.
So dance has been recognized for its remedial and therapeutic qualities, but does it bring about happiness? Using the argument that the improvement and even restoration of health brings about a happier state, it would be fair to argue that you can indeed dance your way to happiness.

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