Touch is used by human beings everyday to make sense of the world; it is the first sense that we develop and it plays an important part of every relationship we form. Even the briefest touch from another person can stir a change in physiological states and emotional experiences. The tactile connection between partners experienced in dance classes can increase intimacy and strengthen romantic relationships. Whether you are looking for ‘the one’ or already are taken, doing dance classes with a partner will provide some enormous benefits.
Dance styles like ballroom, which involve tactile touch, have very positive benefits for not just the individual, but for relationships in general. It has been shown that partners who touch more will mend conflicts faster and will rate their relationship more positively. Physiologically, dance provides a number of advantages to the individual such as better cardiovascular health, weight loss, muscular flexibility and strength; dancing with your partner will also provide added health benefits. Studies have revealed that even the contact pressure of holding your partner’s hand can lead to a reduced stress responses i.e. lower blood pressure.
Learning new dance steps or routines can be a challenge and when done with your partner can be a fun bonding experience as well. Together you can overcome the challenge of learning new steps, growing together in confidence, making new friends and getting physically fit. A recent study has suggested that partnered dance styles are “associated with improvements in physical fitness, cognitive functioning, social functioning, mood and self-confidence”2.
Even in non-romantic relationships, the physical contact in dance classes can increase communal feelings and in turn feelings of gratitude and support3. The synchronisation experienced between two individuals during partnered dance classes, can increase feelings of cooperation and positivity to one and another4.
The role of dance in facilitating bonding is sometimes overlooked as it can be hard to quantify. Yet we can now be certain that there are benefits to partnered dance for both physical and mental health of the individual and relationship, so why not share that with your partner and take up a dance class together? Start strengthening your relationship with your first class on us at anyone of our studios around Melbourne and Victoria.
1 Coan J. A., Schaefer H. S., Davidson R. J. (2006). Lending a hand: social regulation of the neural response to threat. Psychol. Sci. 17, 1032–1039 10.1111
2 Lakes, Kimberley D., et al. "Dancer perceptions of the cognitive, social, emotional, and physical benefits of modern styles of partnered dancing."Complementary therapies in medicine 26 (2016): 117-122.
3 Simão, Cláudia, and Beate Seibt. "Friendly touch increases gratitude by inducing communal feelings." Frontiers in psychology 6 (2015).
4 Tarr, Bronwyn, Jacques Launay, and Robin IM Dunbar. "Music and social bonding:“self-other” merging and neurohormonal mechanisms." Frontiers in psychology 5 (2014): 1096.