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Dancing Does More For Your Brain Than Just Make Memories
Choreographed dancing is less about improvisation and more about memorization of specific steps or a routine. Think of ballet dance, ballroom dance, or even the type of dance seen in Broadway performances. Since choreographed dance involves a higher level of learning and memorization, scientists theorize that it engages different parts of the brain than improvisational or freestyle dance. In turn, studies have shown choreographed dance may have positive benefits in terms of age-related brain changes. Specifically, a 2017 study published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience followed a 36 participants who participated in sports or dance. After a year and a half, magnetic resonance images or “MRIs” showed that individuals who participated in weekly dance classes showed positive benefits in parts of the brain critical for memory, learning and spatial navigation.
So what does this all mean?
Scientists agree, dancing is good for your brain. Both freestyle dancing and choreographed routines have been shown to have positive health benefits. Whether you enjoy freestyle dancing or you prefer the structure of choreographed dance routines, the important thing is that you find a type of dance that you enjoy and will continue to do over time. You can build great memories, have a good time, and benefit your brain health one dance at a time!