New Delhi : Dance, one of the most gracious forms of art, is not only the vessel to express emotions, but also a key to stay fit, for people of all ages, shapes and sizes.
Other than improving heart and lungs condition, managing weight and strengthening, this form of art improves mental functioning, psychological wellbeing, self-confidence and self-esteem and better social skills.
This World Dance Day, celebrity choreographer Shiamak Davar and his international dance faculty Owen Selkirk shared with ANI, their views on mental and physical health benefits of dance.
Shiamak started by saying, "For me, health is a state of mind and fitness is a way of life. A fit body homes a healthy mind. This is the most important health benefit of dance, that is aligns the mind, body and spirit."
He further said that different styles of dance are also different forms of work out.
"On a physical level, dance helps improve overall fitness, endurance, muscle toning and strengthening. Different styles of dance are also different forms of work out. While ballet works completely on inner strength, balance and posture, Hip Hop / Bboying have exercises that require stronger arms and legs. Even Indian Classical Dance forms are strenuous work outs for the quadriceps with all the squats. When I teach students the Shiamak Style of contemporary, my work out includes a combination of plies, abdominal exercises and stretches. Dance requires a lot of stamina which ensures the body is agile and light."
"Music in itself is therapeutic. Dance is a physical interpretation of what the music says. It is a great way to release energy, shed inhibitions and vent out emotions. When you dance you sweat, and you release 'feel good' endorphins that make you happy. Good music, good dancing is a great way to be in a happy state of mind," he concluded.
Owen, while responding on the same, said, "With depression it's super important to move muscles. Your body language correlate's with your emotions. You slouch when sad and stand up tall when you're happy etc. Also when you are learning the choreography it forces you to be present so you cannot think about your past regrets or future anxieties, and then when you're dancing you are one with the music, forcing you to be present yet again. When you take the time to be present and in the moment it takes you away from your problems and makes them smaller even for a moment which translates to better emotional well being in and out of the studio."
Adding, "Dance is a full body experience where balance, coordination, memory , muscle tone and weight loss are all byproducts not the means so it's easy to get in shape because you're just having fun."
On a related note, with the motto 'Have Feet. Will Dance,' the 'Shiamak Dance Movement' is the largest in the world and has reached out to over a million dance enthusiasts across India, Canada, Australia, UK and UAE.
He has introduced the world to new dance forms, which are amalgamations of Indian and Western dance, fused with his own Shiamak style.