by Adapt Training and Development
A few weeks ago, a friend and I went to see the Broadway musical “Waitress” in Eugene. It’s very cute, but the thing that caught my attention was the curtain call (if you’re not a play person, this is right after the show ends, when the cast comes out one or two at a time and is applauded). I found myself thinking about the cast, who were no doubt all “theater kids” at some point, and the many thousands of hours they had invested in getting to the point of getting paid to do the thing that they love. One of the actors who played the not very charming husband “Earl” just radiated such joy during the curtain call that it got me thinking about the practice of singing and dancing more broadly.
Although most of us will never sing and dance for a living, there are still so many benefits to incorporating some pieces of each into our lives. Singing (anything! Even, the ABC song or Happy Birthday!) activates multiple parts of our brains and has numerous physical and mental health (stress relief) benefits. Even humming has known benefits from alleviating nausea to reducing anxiety.
Dancing / rhythmic movement can be either soothing (think of how we instinctively bob or rock when holding a baby) or energizing. Like singing, dance is helpful to both our emotional health and other brain health including “executive function, long-term memory and special recognition” (Edwards, 2015). We can feel a little self-conscious about dancing, but some people incorporate dancing into their routines (e.g., dancing around the kitchen to some upbeat music while cleaning up after dinner) or having a dance party with their kids or grandkids. As the saying goes, get out there and dance like no one is watching.
Here are some great resources to help you to find your voice and get your groove on.
Benefits of Singing
Hum a Happy Tune for Wellness
Dancing and Mental Health
Dancing and Brain Health