Arthur Murray Thousand Oaks - kids dance

Use It or Lose It

Use It or Lose it

Arthur Murray International, our parent company sent out a release a few months ago, and I just had to share it with all of you! If you have ever wondered why you should start dancing, (or continue dancing for that matter) here is a synopsis of the release and what facts and figures pertain to YOU!!

  • Frequent dancing apparently makes us smarter – A major study added to the growing evidence that stimulating one’s mind by dancing can ward off Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia, much like physical exercise can keep the body fit.
  • Dancing also increases cognitive acuity at all ages – They studied cognitive activities such as reading books, writing for pleasure, doing crossword puzzles, playing cards and playing musical instruments. The study discovered that almost none of the physical activities appeared to offer any protection against dementia, except for dancing.
    • Reading – 35% reduced risk of dementia
    • Bicycling and swimming – 0%
    • Crossword (4 days a week) – 47%
    • Golf – 0%
    • Dancing Frequently – 76%
  • The essence of intelligence is making decisions – The best advice, when it comes to improving your mental activity, is to involve yourself in activities, which require split-second rapid-fire decision making, like our practice sessions.
  • Dancing integrates several brain functions at once – We all have our own way of learning, but dancing incorporates them all: kinesthetic, rational, musical, and emotional – further increasing your neural connectivity.
  • Who benefits more, women or men?Women
    • In social dancing, the “Follow” role automatically gains a benefit, by making hundreds of split second decisions as to what to do next, sometimes unconsciously so.
    • Women don’t “follow”, they interpret the signals their partners are giving them, and this requires intelligence and decision making, which is active, not passive. This benefit is enhancing when dancing with different partners.
    • With different partners you have to adjust much more and be aware of more variables. This is great for staying smarter longer.
  • Men
    • Really pay attention to your partner and what works best for her. Notice what is comfortable for her, where she is already going, which signals are successful with her and which aren’t, and constantly adapt you’re dancing to these observations.  That’s rapid-fire split second decision making.
    • Don’t lead the same old patterns the same way each time. Challenge yourself to try new things.  Make more decisions more often.

The huge side-benefit of dancing is that your partners will have much more fun dancing with you when you are attentive to their dancing and constantly adjusting for their comfort and continuity of motion.  And as a result you have more fun too. Plus who can pass up the opportunity to be smarter. And always remember, the most intelligent men know how to dance!

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