Why Do People Dance?

Why do people dance? Participating in dance is considered a unifying factor among social groups, especially among several ethnic groups. A number of cultures find themselves bonding over dances and learning them. We even enjoy learning the dances of other cultures, including the reasons why they are performed. For example, the Maori Haka dance is performed traditionally because it shows the dancer’s strength and fearlessness.

Dr. Peter Lovatt from the University of Hertfordshire has studied the reason to “why do people dance.” He found out that age, gender, and genetics give people the confidence to engage in a dance.

Dr. Lovatt, more commonly known around the campus as Dr. Dance, has completed analyzing over 13,700 responses to an online video, which shows him showing his professional dance moves. Dr. Lovatt presents various dance movements and asks the respondents to give them a rating. In addition, he asks the viewers to imagine that they were dancing and to describe how good they danced compared to the average dancer.

Why do people dance more confidently than others? According to Dr. Lovatt’s study on dance confidence, it changes accordingly with age and with one’s gender. A significant difference also exists between how each gender develops dance confidence. At the age of sixteen, girls are at their highest level of dance confidence but it drops drastically after their sixteenth birthday. Fortunately, after their teenage years and up to the age of 35, the confidence level of women begins to increase steadily. After 55 years old, it drops significantly and steadily. For boys, however, they do not have a peak similar to those found in the female data. Boys have increasing dance confidence until they reach middle age, then it flattens before rising sharply at the age of 65.

To shed light about why people dance, Dr. Lovatt says people hit the dance floor to engage in social bonding and as a form of mate selection. Apart from these, dancing is also beneficial for your health, fitness, and well-being. People also engage in dance in order to enjoy themselves. For example, engaging in an ethnic dance class not only allows individuals to learn but also to reestablish contact with their roots, to enjoy cultural celebrations, to engage in physical and mental exercise, and to meet interesting people in the process.

So, why do people dance? Apparently, there are a variety of reasons why people dance. No matter the reason for people choosing to dance, it is good to know that dancing has beneficial effects as it improves a person physically, relaxes one mentally, and enhances one’s social status.

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