Across the globe we recognize similarities in culture and history that we describe by the term “human”. One of the cornerstones of human society found on all parts of the planet is dance. Every culture and society has their own form of dance that served a myriad of purposes from ritual to entertainment. There are nearly 8,404 dance studios in the U.S. that employs nearly 48,860 Americans. Today, the United States dance studio industry generates an estimated 2.1 billion dollars of revenue, with ballroom dancing now recognized as an Olympic sport. Here is a brief history of dance through human history followed by the benefits of dance on a human being.
The History of Dance
The first archaeological proof of dance dates back to 9,000 years ago with intricate cave paintings. It is known that the Ancient Egyptians used dancing both for entertainment and religious ritual. The Latin verb ballare is translated as “to dance” and serves as the base for the modern word, “ballroom dancing”. Modern ballroom dancing first came into existence when the Academie Royale de Musique et de Danse was founded by the French King Louis XIV in the late 17th century. Today, ballroom dancing is often considered to be the pinnacle of expressive passion and romance, which is why it is commonly chosen as a style for a wedding dance.
The Benefits of Dance
Aside from the well–known benefits of dance such as balance, flexibility, weight loss, and stress management, dance is therapeutic in several regards. For instance, a New England Journal of Medicine study found that ballroom dancing lessons may help to improve memory retention and reduce the risk for dementia. Many studies have found that dance classes for kids can help to reduce depression through social interactions. As a hobby, dance helps to teach children about self–confidence, sportsmanship, and the reward of hard work and determination. Few other sports in the world can boast such an impressive history or set of benefits as dancing can.