dance it out

Why do we enjoy dancing so much?  Is it an evolutionary advantage?  Is it in our blood from our tribal ancestors who danced around the fire?

A new study confirms advantages of dancing beyond just cardiovascular exercise.  Not just any kind of dancing though......choreographed dancing!

The researchers first measured everyone's pain tolerance.  Next, they put people into 2 groups.  In Group A, each individual learned the same dance moves.  For Group B, they taught each person different dance moves.  They placed the groups in a room together with headphones.  Group A heard the same music, and started doing the dance together, and having a ball.  Group B heard different music in their headphones and were doing their own individual dances.

After the dance party, the researchers measured people's pain tolerance.  Those from Group A (synchronized dancers) had a significantly higher threshold, meaning you could give them more pain, and they wouldn't be bothered.  Group B (individual dancers) either felt the same amount of pain as the beginning or more pain.  

So, those who danced together as a group doing the same moves to the same music got better.  Why?  We aren't exactly sure, but probably because being part of a group has an evolutionary advantage.  Dancing together makes you feel part of a team, which helps with survival in this crazy world.

No wonder I feel so happy after a hip hop class at the gym!