No matter how old you are, dancing can make you feel better, and it can affect on your better orientation in space. This does not mean that you will know to determine where is the north and where is the south wherever you stand, but you’ll be able to understand the position of your body in space better. This is called proprioception, and it is very important for dancers.
Motion is physical activity, but it is connected with the brain. Activation of some body part activates specific areas in the brain – so-called body maps. To be a good dancer, it is necessary to have well organized body maps. Given that most things we do with our hands, it is logical that part of the brain linked to the activity of arms is most developed. During dancing, we use the whole body – we move knees and elbows and make turns. All these movements and practicing them help us to generate these body maps and to create a sense of proprioception.
It is very important that the dancer has a developed sense of proprioception. He needs to know whether his movement will cause a kick to something and is it there enough room to make three turns and the like. It is somehow an estimate the size of the area and distance from obstacles. Hunters are doing the same when they are in the wood, using a hunting rangefinder. Dancers must have a sixth sense. The first reason is because the space in which they practice and space where they are performing are not the same. The last thing that a dancer need is poor assessment the size of the scene! Another very important reason is the fact that the dancer often dance in a group. That is why he must always be aware of other dancers and how they move.
Dancing helps you become more aware of your body in space and thus reduces the chance of injuries. Moreover, it can increase the coordination of your body. Good coordination means good motor skills and properly coordinated body movements, that make performing many everyday activities a lot easier. Coordination is best developed between 10-13 years of age, but its development will not hurt in the later or the earlier period of life. Dancing is a great way to develop them through entertainment and fun. The dance movements that will develop your coordination and body maps are those that involve a crosswise arm and leg movements – for example, moving arms on the left side, legs to the right side. In this way, dance movements activate both hemispheres of the brain.
Coordination and proprioception are not only useful for dancers. They may also be of benefit for all athletes. For instance, a basketball player should have an idea of where he stands in relation to the basket. Good assessment increases the chances of scoring. Dance is, therefore, an excellent additional training that all athletes should consider.