DANCE FOR HEALTH
ARTS & RECOVERY TEAM - MOVEMENT STORIES PROJECT
MOVEMENT & BRAIN HEALTH
How Dance Helps Re-Wire the Brain
Dance is often seen as a form of entertainment or exercise, but recent research has shown that it can also have profound effects on the brain. In fact, dance has been found to help re-wire the brain, leading to improvements in various cognitive and physical abilities.
One of the ways that dance helps re-wire the brain is through the activation of mirror neurons. Mirror neurons are a type of neuron that fires both when an individual performs a specific action and when they simply observe someone else performing that same action. When we watch a dance performance or participate in dance ourselves, mirror neurons are activated, leading to the creation of new neural pathways in the brain. This can improve our ability to learn and remember movement patterns, as well as enhance our empathy and social skills.
Another way that dance helps re-wire the brain is through the process of neural plasticity. Neural plasticity refers to the brain's ability to change and adapt in response to new experiences. When we engage in dance, we are constantly challenging our brains to learn and execute new movements. This process of constantly challenging and engaging the brain can lead to increased neural plasticity, allowing the brain to form new connections and adapt to new situations. This can improve our cognitive abilities, including our memory, attention, and creativity.