Does Dancing Increase Intelligence?
Dancing provides cognitive benefits to both adults and children. In other words, dancing can make us smarter.
Does dancing make us smarter?
Dancing can help increase intelligence because of the stimulation it provides. After all, dancing is a complex activity that requires coordination of several movements and being synchronized with the rhythm.
In addition, dancing can help create and reinforce several neural pathways. This is critical in rapid brain development and maintenance of brain function. This is related to the “Use it or lose it” when it comes to intelligence. If we don’t use the neural pathways we have, we tend to lose them. It’s like when we’re not practicing a skill for a long time, we tend to forget how it’s done.
Dancing also helps sharpen our rapid-fire decision making skills. Each split second our brains and bodies are making complex movements, analysis and decisions on what to do next. Aside from following the rhythm, we also have to be mindful of the space and other people around us (especially in group dance performances).
Both adults and children can reap cognitive benefits from dancing. It’s especially the case with children who are in their period of rapid brain development and when their core brain architecture is being developed. It’s critical that they form and reinforce the neural pathways responsible for movement and coordination. This will benefit them in the long term, whether they choose dancing as a profession or not.
We can also look at dancing as a form of physical exercise. Right now you might already be aware of the cognitive benefits of exercise and physical activity. After all, we humans seem to have evolved to constantly move. Aside from helping us relax and improve our sleep, physical exercise (including dancing) can help us improve our memory and mental performance (better sleep also helps with this).
Intelligence goes beyond having strong academic performance. It’s also about being quick and prompt to decide as well as being mindful of the surroundings. Notice that dancing can help adults and children practice those skills. In addition, dancing adds more variety to the children’s learning process.