Meditation is a positive thing - it can create balance, calmness, relief and harmony between the mind and body. Recent studies reveal that dancing can be used as an effective form of meditation or in conjunction with meditation for really positive results, such as a reduction in distress or insomnia1. Dance classes are actually the perfect setting to practice mindfulness, in class you focus your concentration on your body’s movements and are forced to stay in the present.
Dance can provide many physical health benefits, such as increased flexibility, strength and balance and now we know it can provide many mental health benefits as well. Dance styles, like Tango, provide the perfect opportunity to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is described as “a process of observing thoughts and feelings as transient experiences that do not need to be eliminated or reacted to”. Mindfulness has been linked with lower mood disturbances and stress2.
Tango is a highly absorbing dance style that is danced without talking to your partner. It requires being in tune with yourself and your partner so that you are open to improvisation and adaptable to changes in music. It requires continuous focus, awareness of your body movements, posture and breathing - you have to stay in the present and focus on the moment. This is why studies suggest that mindfulness-meditation and tango dance could be effective complementary treatments of depression and/or inclusion in stress management programmes. “Activities that focus people’s attention on aspects of the present, like learning new physical skills, are reported to produce an indirect improvement in psychological health”3.
Dance classes are also quite social, which can add to the benefits to your mental health. However, tango specifically creates partnerships that involve trust and acceptance. The leader needs to select moves that are suitable for their partner’s skill level, while the follower must walk backwards and trust their partner’s direction. Reinforcing trust and acceptance through a dance class, can lead to a really positive experience and detachment from negative thoughts.
With all of the benefits that Tango and meditation share in increasing your mindfulness and mental well being, why not try a free Tango class with MarShere today. Sign up for your free voucher now.
1 Pinniger, Rosa, et al. "Tango dance can reduce distress and insomnia in people with self-referred affective symptoms." American Journal of Dance Therapy 35.1 (2013): 60-77.
2 Brown, Kirk Warren, and Richard M. Ryan. "The benefits of being present: mindfulness and its role in psychological well-being." Journal of personality and social psychology 84.4 (2003): 822.
3 Dimidjian, S., & Linehan, M. M. (2003). Deﬁning an agenda for future research on the clinical application of mindfulness practice. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 10 (2), 166–171