A Silver Lining: The Multi-faceted Health and Wellness Benefits of Dance and Fitness

FDC Pre Ballet Class
FDC Pre-Ballet stretching.

As the saying goes, “Every cloud has a silver lining”, and wow does that ring true in a way we could have never imagined during this pandemic. As we all rose to the monumental challenges put before us, we also bared witness to the magical and additional multi-faceted benefits the valued arts enrichment of dance and fitness brings to us all. As the pandemic challenged our abilities to stay safe and think outside the box, we were determined, dedicated, and driven to continue bringing dance and fitness to our community, no matter the obstacles. However, all the while not realizing the additional long reaching benefits this service would and does provide.

We have always recognized how dance arts, fitness and performance teach students life skills of confidence, teamwork, responsibility, self-esteem, and instill in them the ability to dream big, push the envelope, and create their own self-fulfilling careers. But we were indeed humbled by the farther-reaching benefits of the mental, physical, psychological, and social wellness dance and fitness provides to tiny tots, youth, and adults alike, that we recognized firsthand.

During this pandemic the rays of this silver lining broke through, illuminating how incredibly important the human connection is to our overall health and wellness as well. In the process of training virtually, we made it a priority to nurture the social connection of the students with each other and the instructor while creating an atmosphere of one-on-one interactions, humor, and movement. We now see this was a saving grace for so many. Our students, regardless of age, had something to look forward to knowing they would still see their friends but most importantly continuing to be able to interact with each other by building social bonds and healthy relationships.

Dance and fitness are known for providing the health benefits of improved condition of your heart and lungs, increased muscular strength and tone, endurance and motor fitness, weight management, coordination, balance, agility, flexibility, and strong bones. Dancing also lifts the mood, eases anxiety, and creates healthy self-expression and fights depression. The art of dance and fitness instruction also leads by example in embracing, and encouraging, diversity and celebrating each other’s differences. This was so very evident more than ever during the pandemic.

But most importantly is the brilliance of this silver lining and how it brightens our ability to see the pricelessness of the physical human connection through dance and how all these benefits come together in providing health and well-being to all ages, not just during this pandemic, as it continues to ebb and flow, but forever and always.