7 reasons why taking dance classes makes you more creative
A few months ago I started teaching dance classes at and working with Artship https://artship.co/en/. Artship is a creative collective of teachers in the arts, offering all sorts of danceclasses. Right now, in the month of June, I am cooperating with them in offering my ballet classes in Rotterdam. The cooperation is awesome and I love working with them. Now I have been asked to write some articles exlusively for the Artship website. I pleasantly complied.
Here are the first paragraphes of the article titled ‘7 reasons why taking dance classes makes you more creative. Start reading right here and then click through to the Artship website. Or click right now:
Do you want a creative outlook on life? Then think about taking dance classes because with dance you are more creative in life. How do you make dance more creative? We list 7 reasons to use dance as a tool for more creativity in your life – inside and outside Rotterdam.
1. Dance creates new connections in your brain.
Dancing provides other impulses and connections in your brain. This allows you to look at situations in a different way. And you can respond creatively and find solutions. You will see that you make other decisions than usual. By using dance as a tool, you can break through patterns and habits that are worn in it. There is room again for new ideas. Because the researchers have shown you
can change brain patterns through training and practice, and dance is very useful for that.
In a study by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Roger Beaty (Post-graduate Fellow in Psychology and the lead author of this study) says: “People who think more flexibly and come up with more creative ideas are better able to network , which normally do not talk to each other to start up and use. ”
Creative thinking is about allowing non-logical jumps of thought. It is also about postponing judgment about the jumps of thought. British psychologist, doctor and management author Edward de Bono calls this discontinuity. He also writes that by developing and maintaining connections between brain cells, creativity can be developed. This way of thinking is also called “out of the box” thinking by De Bono.
An example in dance classes where out of the box thinking is stimulated is a composition assignment. Within set frameworks, there is still room to make choices about, for example, the order of the movements. But also with which body part you move. Or how to the music and with whom. Hereby it appears that dancers are able to come to very creative decisions, because the brain makes new connections.
2. Dance is an expression medium.
Dance is an outlet and a way to process your emotions. Just like with writing, journaling, making music or drawing, it helps with a processing process. A tool to sort things out and to make room for new thoughts and emotions. Danceclasses are an imaginative activity that can produce original and valuable results in terms of creativity. It can help you get out of your shell and get out of stuck thoughts. That is what danceclasses does to you.
It is therefore not for nothing that dance therapy exists. Dance therapy assumes that symptoms can be seen in the body. And also in the movements of a person. Feelings, behavior and ways of thinking can be processed through dance and movement, examined and given a place. Like other forms of therapy, dance therapy has many health benefits. For example, it has been demonstrated that it is effective to improve body image, self-image and communication skills. It can also reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, tension, depression and chronic pain. Go after it. For example, if you fight against burnout complaints, you cannot be creative.
3. Dance is a journey of discovery.
Taking dance lessons can be a journey of discovery, where you discover new things. In his book “Creativity. Flow and the psychology of discovery and invention” Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi demonstrates that physical action and the mental state of a person are interrelated. You can imagine that if you end up in a rut, you will continue your days on the automatic pilot. There is no room for creativity, because you blindly trust what you already know and have been doing for years.
So you can use dance as a journey to discover new skills and creativity. You have to continue when you go on a dance class. It is not for nothing that we call it a journey and not a moment of discovery. Feelings of frustration and incomprehension, when you start something new, are completely normal. Accept it and go through these phases. Then it gets a place and you start experimenting with your new skills and you are more creative. If after a while you really don’t like your dance classes at all, then of course you can stop, but you have given a good chance.