Nov 18, 2015
Tips & Advice
Take a look at this article by: Deanna Berman, ND, CM
Ballet is a wonderful form of exercise and an opportunity to develop many skills necessary in life. For some, it may also be a part of the road back to health, both psychological and physical. These benefits may be obtained through the study of ballet whether taking a Saturday morning class for fun or training for a performance. The emotional and physical benefits that occur through the study of ballet can be utilized in many areas of one’s life. Here are some of the benefits of ballet.
The study of ballet helps in the development of self-confidence. The ballerina learns what her body and mind are capable of. At the beginning of the ballet lessons, the newcomer may feel awkward. But as she keeps coming back, she begins to see that she can do a lot more than she ever thought possible. By the end of the class, as skills are combined in a performance, the dancer realizes that what she now can perform is beautiful. The confidence developed is useful for both children and adults. When we accomplish something that previously seemed very difficult, it helps us develop the confidence that we can overcome other obstacles in our lives.
Both in ballet class and while studying for a performance, one has an opportunity to develop skills in relating to others. Recent research indicates that when a person performs an action while another person is performing the same action, it activates “mirror neurons” in the brain. It is speculated that these mirror neurons may play a role in helping us understand the behaviors of others and in learning new skills by imitation. I recently spoke to a dance therapist who told me about her work with autistic children. She said that when people dance together they develop empathy. This was important for the autistic children, but learning empathy is something that can benefit everyone.