BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Moving to the beat of a favorite tune is a healthy workout for both the body and mind, researchers say.

Dance and Physical Well-Being

Research indicates that dancing can be a great aerobic activity that helps to boost cardiovascular health as well as increase strength and coordination.

While dancing alone is fun, dancing with others in a class or a group setting can also be a healthy social activity that leads to the formation of new relationships and community connections.

Dance and Mental Health

People who are recovering from trauma may also benefit from certain types of dance.

According to an article in Oprah Daily, a young woman who survived sexual assault found herself battling intense feelings of shock in the aftermath of the attack.

She sought out the assistance of a therapist, who recommended she join a dance class.

The recommendation was made due to the positive impact dance has on mental health. Researchers say this effect is rooted in brain chemistry.

Psychologist and author of The Joy of Movement, Dr. Kelly McGonigal explained dance’s impact on the brain in an interview with Oprah Daily.

She said, “When you begin moving, you immediately release the brain chemicals dopamine, adrenaline, and endorphins, causing a powerful and lasting effect I call ‘energized optimism. The adrenaline makes you feel powerful, the dopamine generates hope, and the endorphins bring you joy.”

Dr. McGonigal went on to say, “You’ve created this amazing cocktail that boosts your mood and energy, leads you to experience better social interactions, makes you more likely to progress on your goals, and lowers stress. So dancing doesn’t just make you feel great in the moment. It sets you up to be a better version of yourself.”

Where to Dance In Baton Rouge

Locals can test the waters by joining a dance class at:

Name: T.C. Dance Club International

Address: 3335 Government St, Baton Rouge, LA 70806

Website: http://tcdanceclub.com/

or

Name: Ric Seeling Club Dance

Address: 10776 N Harrells Ferry Rd, Baton Rouge, LA 70816

Website: http://www.ricseeling.com/

The Recreation and Park Commission for the Parish of East Baton Rouge (BREC) also hosts a variety of dance events, which are listed online here.