How can I dance better

Learning to dance: Dancing makes you smarter

Did you know that there are well over 100 ways to move your body to music or a rhythm? There's Boogie-Woogie, Calypso, Cha-Cha-Cha, Charleston, Foxtrot, Jive, Lambada, Mambo, Paso doble, Rock’n’Roll, Rumba, Salsa, Samba, Tango and of course the Twist. There used to be dances like the bourrée, gavotte, minuet, polka, quadrille and even the Rhinelander. But sweets were not thrown until later ... But what is much more important: Those who dance regularly don't just keep fit - Dancing also makes you smarter

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Dancing keeps body and mind fit

Numerous peoples have their own Dances preserved to this day:

  • the Spaniards have about that bolero
  • the Hungarians den Csárdás
  • the Andalusians the flamenco
  • the British den Hornpipe
  • the Italians the tarantella
  • the Greeks den Sirtaki
  • the Poles the Polonaise
  • the Americans den Square dance and
  • Bayern, of course, theirs Schuhplattler. Yodelidu!

Of course, there are also - widely - numerous forms rhythmic movement dyslexia: Many a colleague or boss can do a lot because of a misunderstanding Perform dance. That looks rather ugly. And discussing further with such disgruntled people is often like one dance on the volcano. Then better sit out ...

But joking aside: Dancing can do a lot more than just look pretty.

Neuroscientists around Hubert Dinse from the Ruhr University Bochum (RUB) tested a specially developed for seniors some time ago Dance program. Those aged between 60 and 94 then danced for six months, but only once a week and only for an hour.

Result: After six months they weren't just physically considerably fitter than before - hers improved as well cognitive skills, your attention and Responsiveness.

Learning to dance works better than other sports

Compared to other sports like running, cycling, or weight training, dancing has many advantages: It combines physical activity with social, emotional and musical interaction as well as cognitive challenges.

In addition, success can be achieved quickly. Only in terms of intelligence and cardiovascular performance, the RUB researchers were unable to register any significant changes. At least not in their study.

There is, however, another investigation or one Long-term study of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. Here, too, the scientists observed several seniors around the age of 75. However, in their study they compared whether and how both physical activities (playing tennis, golf, swimming, cycling, dancing, walking, ...) and cognitive performance (reading or writing books, puzzles, playing cards or instruments, ...) ) had an effect on the mental fitness of the test subjects.

The result was amazing: Almost none of the physical activities had a positive effect on mental performance. On the contrary: the effect was consistently zero. Of course, the sport was good for the heart and circulation, it promoted stamina and flexibility. But it did not in any way counteract the spiritual decline.

With one exception: regular dancing.

But it gets even better:

  • Regular reading could do that Risk of dementia decrease by 35 percent; Seniors who solved crossword puzzles four days a week reduced their risk of dementia by a whopping 47 percent compared to those who only puzzled once a week.
  • Regular dancing, however, topped all of that: it lowered the likelihood of shrinking Mental strength by a full 76 percent!

The explanation of the scientists: Dementia is nothing more than the progressive loss of Synapse connections. Every time we learn something, our brain forges new, neural paths. Over the years, numerous roads and junctions to our stored knowledge have emerged. Thinking is only possible through this network.

Dementia, on the other hand, is like Germany's highways in summer: construction site everywhere. One path after the other is broken. At first this is not noticeable because our gray cells then just take detours. But the journey takes longer and longer each time.

Nouns or names usually have the fewest neuron pathways, so access to them is often the first to be torn off with advancing age. Often old people then educate Synonymsthat should overcome the lost access. Or they just see a familiar face and rummage for hours for the name that goes with it: Kim? Heidi ?? Horst???

But that also means: ever more complex Our neural network is, the more numerous the alternative connections, the less likely it is that we will Access to our knowledge to lose.

Should one path fail over time, there is still enough left alternative paths.

From the Intelligence research again, it is known that it is essential for the thinking streets that they are frequented. In contrast to motorways, they don't wear out or become clogged with increasing traffic, but get wider and better.

And that happens mainly through thinking, which is nothing more than making thousands of small (branch) decisions. And that's exactly where it comes in To dance in the game…

Learn to dance: Just one hour a week is enough

While most sports, such as swimming or golf, mainly call up already learned movement sequences and refine them if necessary, dancing promotes numerous cognitive processes, but above all to make new decisions.

Anyone who dances with a partner must ...

  • at lightning speed on its movements react,
  • at the same time your own with the rhythm compare and
  • depending on the new movements, such as a turn or a lunge, plan and choreograph.

All that in a split second. And different every time. The dance should look spontaneous and not like being unwound!

So have they too Freestyle couple dances the biggest Effect on intelligence - So those dance styles without a fixed sequence of movements such as swing, foxtrot and sometimes Latin (don't forget: the test subjects were seniors, techno and hiphop did not know them yet).

The second Advantage of these dances is that they involve both leading and being led, which increases the number of decisions that need to be made.

A Woman who is led, is therefore by no means mentally passive, but highly active: She has to interpret the movements of her partner and react to them skilfully. With this it is also clear that the mental training turns out to be stronger, the more often you have it that evening Dance partner changes.

Of course, this rule also applies to Men. According to the researchers, they too should change their dance partners more often, theirs Leadership style change and practice varied processes. The more often, the better for the brain.

With that in mind, we wish you an active weekend - and go dance!

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[Photo credit: tarczas, Pressmaster by]