man and woman dancing tango in the street
Reflections

Dancing as a Tool of Creativity – Have Fun

dancing as a tool of creativity

 

Dancing as a Tool of Creativity – Have Fun

If you love moving, if you love to express yourself differently, you indeed love dancing. I always loved dancing, for myself at my house, but also in a club.

My dancing wasn’t a performance for an audition. I love to move my body, feel I am alive, and express my joy, my whole being.

These days there are even some forms of psychology where they use dancing to bring people back to themselves. They begin to feel themselves again to get out of the darkness of depression.

Dancing is a great tool for depressive people because while you are dancing, your brain is dancing. As a result, your joy will begin to flow again.

You will feel yourself and your environment again. Your creativity will start to flow again.

I am sure that all people are creative. That is a God-given gift. Every child is born with individual skills that need to develop.  I love that!

Some people are gifted dancers, but for all of us, it is a typical expression.

Dancing in other cultures

man and woman dancing tango in the street

An American choreographer, Martha Graham, once said that “dance is the hidden language of the soul.” I love that expression. Because that is also what I feel. Dancing is an expression of emotions. It brings people together. It relaxes you. Dancing is a tool of creativity!

Dance is a universal language, and we all have the ability to speak it! Now I am not writing about choreography. That is not my intention.

Every culture has individual dancing styles, and it is beautiful to see how they are integrated into these cultures. So many of these dances we have adapted to our own culture by offering classes, so you can learn to dance, for example, Samba or Tango. Beautiful sensual dances where you know to let go of control.

Through the universal art form of dance, we are given a vehicle to uncover another culture’s dynamics and complexity instead of making judgments based on what we perceive. ( 22 West Magazine)

If you look at other cultures, there are so many dances we know.

The Samba of Brazil

Samba is a lively dance of Afro – Brazillian origin. It was created by African people in Brazil from the music and dance culture they brought from their home country. Today Samba is the most important dance form in Brazil.

The Flamenco of Spain

Flamenco is a professionalized art-form based on southern Spain’s various folkloric music traditions in Andalusia’s autonomous communities. Flamenco has been influenced by and associated with the Romani people in Spain, but the origin and style are typical Andalusian.

The Zaouli Mask Dance of the Ivory Coast

Zaouli is a traditional dance of the Guro people of the central Ivory Coast. Actually, the mask used in this dance was created in the 1950s inspired by a girl named ‘Djela Lou Zaouli”( meaning ” Zaouli, daughter of Djela”). Each Guro village has a local Zaouli dancer( always male).

The Haka of New Zealand

The Haka dance is a ceremonial dance in Maori culture. It is commonly associated with male warriors’ traditional battle preparations but has long been performed by men and women.

There are more dance forms globally, mask dancing in Indonesia and China, the waltzer in Vienna, etc.

Dances are used for all kinds of ceremonies in these different cultures. They have different meanings. And are indeed very interesting in searching the internet for them. I intend to show how dancing is an expression tool for creativity.

Dancing as a Tool of Creativity- Express Yourself!

beautiful african dancing woman

Did you ever observe small children? They are still so natural, so themselves. Children love to move and to dance, jump, and sing. If they have healthy parents and family, they can express themself in a freestyle, creative way. And they do! It is beautiful to see children being so free, without perfectionism and control. Dancing makes you free.

If you are depressed and, I mean, really suffering from depression, you will likely not want to hear that it is right for you to dance. But if you could move to the music of your choice some steps, you already help your brain get out of the grey zone.

I experienced that myself. I have been depressed and lying in bed for half of the day; I couldn’t move. So I started to walk a lot in Nature but also dancing to music. And my life changed. My mind woke up, and I started to be creative again.

It has been amazing, and I can tell you to begin to move—small steps, swaying to the music. Your brain wakes up again. Chemical reactions will start and make you feel better. You begin to feel!

There are lots of classes where they teach you how to do freestyle dancing. It is your own style born out of your expressed emotions. Try it! It is so beautiful! Maybe you will start to sing again! Maybe you start to write a book. Whatever makes you happy.

What happens with your Brain?

Now I can’t leave that. I have to write about the effect dancing has on our brain. It is a phenomenon for me how moving the body and mind is healthily changing the brain. Creativity is born out of the mind. Where is our reason?

Dance is a form of performing art wherein the body moves rhythmically, usually to express feelings or ideas. It has shown many health benefits, including boosting brainpower and function. In addition, dancing is good for mental health.

Depression is a disabling mental illness accompanied by feelings of sadness, problems with emotion regulation, and loss of interest and motivation. It affects more than 350 million people worldwide.

It shows me that our modern system doesn’t do good for people. We need to develop our creativity and be allowed to express our emotions through creativity. The control of children in our world by forcing them to function in a way modern western cultures allow has a bad influence on children’s development. Studies found out that dancing has a positive effect on children’s cognitive development.

2 small girls dancing on a bed, holding each other hands

As an adult, you suffer from this control; you live with a kind of loss that can make you depressive. And, of course, the modern diet doesn’t help the correct feeding of brain cells.

But in a study, researchers found out that dancing is a good treatment therapy for depression. And I can confirm this because dancing focuses on body movement and emotional expression, which helps to soothe the symptoms of depression. Movement is a language, can be communicative and expressive.

Dancing improves brain function and memory and stimulates nerve growth factors. These factors are proteins essential for maintaining sensory neuron health. In addition, dancing can boost the connectivity between both cerebral hemispheres. These are linked to neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to form new neural connections to change and adapt. That is powerful!

Final Thought

Dancing is a tool to express emotions boost your creativity. It will help to wake up a brain that has sunk into the darkness of depression. Only the performance of some steps per day will already have a positive influence on the brain cells.

Moving the body has a general healing ability on the brain. Many psychologists use dancing as movement psychotherapy for mental problems. Dancing is a tool of creativity!

For an artist, dancing is a great tool to let the creativity flow. It makes you feel free and joyful.

Again I would love to hear if you have experience with the topic and what you think about dancing.

 

All the best,

Sylvia

 

6 Comments

  • Hannie

    Beautiful quote of Martha Graham, Sylvia, I love it too! And of the dances you describe I love Flamenco and Haka the most. To look at, mind you, not to do myself. 🙂

    I love to dance myself as well. Whether it is ballroom dancing or just moving, all of it. You said dancing has a great influence on the mind as well, which is true. There is even a specific kind of dancing, the Body Brain Dance, discovered by an Isralei choreographer, that claims to keeps Alzheimer’s at bay.

    I forgot the name of the choreographer. However, I have an app that’s called BodyBrainDance to practice it. And if you look at youtube you’ll find examples as well.

    Dancing is great. And the best part is, you can pratice it until old age. 🙂

    • admin

      Hi Hannie, Thank you so much for your beautiful comment! Dancing is so relaxing and joyful. You are right. I heard about this specific dancing you mention here, but I haven’t seen it yet. Thank you for the tip. You know that Eric Scherder, a Dutch professor, also claims that moving and walking and dancing are perfect for the brain.
      I find that dancing we can do everywhere, that is the nice part about it. I am happy you enjoyed my blog! 🙂

  • only1hugh

    I was asked to provide comment, discussion and opinion on Dancing as a Tool of Creativity

    First off congrats on building content for a site which I believe should have high reception

    Your article seems to have two main streams of thought. One that dance is a form of creative expression and two, that dance offers a sense of healing. I say ‘seems’ because I found myself wanting more proof that dance does indeed improve creativity and mental health. 

    I know that dance can provide different impulses and connections within the brain and as such this can create new streams of thought and idea. Dance thus can provide an avenue or bridge to creative thinking where, without it, the person might be otherwise constrained by logical thought. There is research on this which supports this point and which I think will further support your article. Perhaps you can also show this nexus through some of the dance examples you chose.

    In terms of mental health there are whole branches of study, including DMT (Dance Movement Therapy) and dramatherapy that treat with mental and physical illnesses being alleviated by dance. Not that this example would be appropriate, but Samba (a dance you highlight) is alleged to have originated from Bahia slaves in 1838. Slave masters often made slaves dance as both to ensure that they were fit for sale and as a means to allow slaves the chance to forget, though brief, the harsh realities of slavery. So even back then dance was held to have a therapeutic effect on the mental condition. 

    The circumstances around Covid have only further increased the incidence of mental health issues. This topic therefore is timely in providing dance as a safe alternative to ingested.

    Hope this helps

    • Sylvie

      Thank you very much for your very thoughtful comment! Yes, you are very right! I read it too about the slaves and their masters who forced them to dance. Samba is a beautiful dance! I love it, and so many other dances. This post was more about creativity and what dancing does to the body and brain. I think it is amazing that dancing is used in therapy. 

      For me, dancing is such a great tool to feel yourself and be connected to my environment. I am a nurse, and I worked with depressed people who have undergone dancing therapy. It helped them a lot. I could watch them becoming lively again, and that is such a beautiful experience! 

  • Aparna

    Dancing is my favorite hobby. It’s wonderful to dance all your worried away. And it is such great exercise too. I totally recommend it. 

    You have penned such a lovely article on the benefits of dancing. I love it. I wish I could add what it has done for my life and how wonderful it has been since I picked up dancing as a daily ritual. 

    Thank u for writing about my first love.

    Regards,

    AB

    • Sylvie

      That is great to hear, Aparna! You are very right; dancing takes the worries away. I worked with depressed people, and they followed dancing therapy. It is so beautiful to see them coming out of their depression slowly.

      Thank you very much for your comment, Aparna!

      Regards, Sylvia

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