This ancient form of movement and communication boasts many physical and psychological benefits. “There are shortcuts to happiness and dancing is one of them,” says Australian writer Vicki Baum. As we dance, our bodies and minds work in beautiful synergy releasing the feel-good hormones serotonin and dopamine.
Dancing decreases cortisol and despite being physically challenging, provides a sense of relaxation. Perhaps you feel you’re no Ginger Rogers but still want to reap the benefits of a good boogie?
Here’s your go-to guide on how to solo-shimmy in your own home (no leotards required).
- Choose a suitable dance floor space. This can be your living room, bedroom or home office. Ensure it’s a space you feel comfortable in, and one where you won’t be disturbed.
- Dress accordingly. Loose fitting clothes or active wear are best, whatever it is that allows you to move freely. If you can, go barefoot. The soles of your feet are extremely sensitive, and what better way to feel grounded than connecting your toes to the earth beneath you.
- Let the beat drop. Choose a dancing soundtrack featuring music with a consistent beat that you connect with. Whether it’s modern and poppy or classical and nostalgic, pick something you can get down and groove to. If you don’t have a sound system or portable speaker, dance to the beat of your own drum.
- Be here now. Perhaps you’ve had a gruelling day at work that only seems to continue once you walk in the door at home. Give yourself permission to be in the moment, to shimmy, shake and let it all go.
- Practice mindfulness. Connect with any sensations you experience. What do you feel? Notice any negative emotions that are stirred and allow them to dissipate. Embrace the feeling of freedom and the liberation of letting go.
Whether it’s a choreographed hip hop number, an improv contemporary piece or the Argentine tango, be in the present moment, have fun and dance like no one’s watching.
This article was originally published in Issue 4, Audrey Daybook – Living with Presence.