Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Dance Like No One Is Watching

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People all too frequently deny themselves the pleasure of cutting loose on the dance floor.  They worry about looking "weird".  They fear that if people see them getting down and funky that they will inevitably see them as being uncool.  I feel for these people.  I really do.  Dancing is one of the most liberating and joyful expressions one can perform with the human body.  It improves your physical condition.  It betters your cognitive functions.  It promotes happiness and reduces stress.  It can even help get you laid, people!

It's not exactly socially challenging to dance in public when you know how.  While it's easy for me to be impressed with someone who has all the right moves, what I truly love to see is horrible dancers that just don't give a shit.  Living in Miami, a city that is as image conscious as they come, it's commonplace to go to a club and see everyone standing around schmoozing with drinks in their hands.  It's only when they reach that perfect level of shitfacedness that they hit the floor and shake ass.

There have been many studies conducted on the benefits of dancing.  And the benefits are numerous.  The first that comes to the minds of many are the physical betterments that can be achieved through dance.  Studies have found that dancing is a great activity for those at risk of cardiovascular disease.  It helps improve heart health, strengthening the circulatory system and greatly reduces the risk of heart failure throughout life.  Breathing is ameliorated, improving lung capacity and enhancing oxygen absorption in every cell of your body.  Flexibility is augmented, reducing stiffness and allowing for a higher level of athleticism.  Obviously, for heavier individuals, dancing is one of the best ways to reduce weight.  One Italian study showed that dancing more significantly improved the overall quality of life even when compared to activities such as cycling, walking and swimming.

What one might find hardest to believe is that dancing helps your brain.  The New England Journal of Medicine published a study, conducted by the Albert Einstein School of Medicine in New York City, on the effects of recreational activities on mental acuity and aging.  They found that above all physical endeavors, dancing represented the strongest safeguard against diminished cognitive function in old age.  Almost miraculously, they found that dancing greatly negated the chances of one ultimately suffering from Alzheimer's or dementia.  In other words, if you don't want to lose your shit when you're old, dance!

For you workaholics and modern-day emos out there, dancing may just be your last great hope.  Few things in life allow one to shed their burdens and enjoy the world around them the way that dancing does.  It a celebration, bitches!  Enjoy yourselves!  Studies have found dancing greatly reduces stress and even combats depression.  So, if you're feeling a little miserable in your existence, or you've become jaded and strained with your current situation or responsibilities, grab someone cute and drop it like it's hot.

Now, we get to the meat and potatoes.  Arguably, the best reason to incorporate dance into your life is the social aspect of it all.  We've all been at a club at some point and witnessed the following scenario:  everyone just standing around as if they were at a 6th grade dance, while the ugliest dude in the room was tearing up the floor with girl after girl.  There is no mystery to this phenomenon.  A willingness to dance exudes confidence, it creates a presence that is both enjoyable and carefree.  People gravitate towards this.  Dancing enables you to make new friends.  It empowers us to obtain the attention of partners who in the light of day would just be too attractive for us.

So, in the immortal words of Mystikal, "shake ya ass, show me what ya workin' wit!"              


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