It’s official: a study has determined that dancing is good for you, and more specifically, dancing with others not only improves social bonds, but even increases your pain threshold. It’s good news for those who like to get their groove on, and the researchers hope it will provide some encouragement for those who are a little more shy when it comes to getting down on the dancefloor.
The study, undertaken by a team of scientists at the University of Oxford and published in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters, looked at the effect of dancing on 300 Brazilian school children who were asked to perform both full body movements and a series of hand movements. The children were then split into two groups, one of whom performed the routines unsynchronized, the other synchronized. Those who performed in sync reported feeling a higher social bond to those they were performing with, and those performing full body movements were additionally found to have a higher pain threshold, the result of increased endorphin levels.
Lead researcher Bronwyn Tarr said of the reluctance of adults to dance in general, “when we grow up, we seem to start limiting our expression of that inherent musical ability, which is probably due to our cultural context. People don’t often think of themselves as ‘musical’ or ‘a dancer’ unless they do it as their job. I think adults need to look for opportunities to unlock that creativity that was originally there.”