I recently heard a podcast with Caroline Williams (a science journalist and regular contributor to New Scientist and author of Move: How the New Science of Body Movement Can Set Your Mind Free) and it reinforces my belief in Groove.
She shares scientifically-proven benefits of moving; any form of simple movement (walking, yoga, swimming, etc.) but particularly on dancing and OMG….....it’s mind-blowing how she explains the power of combining dance, music and rhythm - all the things I have always thought to be true, except now it's not just me hypothesizing.
If you visit my Groove Malaysia page on this website, you’ll see what I list below as benefits of Groove, and believe it or not, Caroline Williams backed up everything with science! (I won't go into all of them and will only highlight those that I think are not common knowledge.)
Mental: Boosts confidence, promotes body-positivity, encourages individuality and ultimately, enhances happiness.
Cognitive: Enhances brain function and boosts memory.
Physical: Improves endurance, strength, balance, coordination, and mobility - essential for healthy aging.
Social: Creates interaction, bonding and a sense of community.
Organizational: Can be a part of diversity, equity and inclusiveness (DEI) initiatives, team building and body-positivity coaching in organizations.
Here's the basic principle - our body is designed to move, not just sit around. Think about our ancestors who were hunters & gatherers. If they did not hunt or gather, the whole community had no chance of surviving. Move forward millions of years later, we have resorted mostly to a sedentary lifestyle made worse by the option of working from home now. And we're calling it the "new normal" which ironically is not normal at all for our bodies to be confined in a small space for more than eight hours a day.
Williams says that you don't have to do strenuous physical exercise to achieve benefits of movement. Simply moving your body can do wonders and therefore, the secret is to find something you love doing (like gardening or walking your dog but in my case, dancing in the kitchen) so that it's not a chore.
The other thing that we all innately have is the need to bond with other people. Hunters and gatherers needed each other to survive. They created social bonds when they hunt and gather together and this made them stronger (team work, right?). Now the introverts will surely disagree with this and as an introvert myself, hear me out. I get uncomfortable in big social gathering where I hardly know anyone and the thought of striking up small talks is the definition of a nightmare to me. But, I crave meaningful social interactions (dancing is one of them) with other people and I enjoy bonding with someone I can relate to. (Now, I dare you to tell me I'm not right.)
So scientists have proven that dancing creates human bonding that is quite mind-blowing. They studied babies who were bounced on their parents' laps, in sync with the rhythm of music, and when a pen was dropped, the babies were likely to pick the pen up than those who were bounced without any rhythmic pattern. There's something about when you move in unison with someone else, you're likely to help each other out because you feel bonded and care about each other more. (Isn't that just fucking amazing?)
I love dancing alone in my room when no one's watching, but I enjoy it more with other people, and now I kinda know why.
Williams also shares that a neuroscientist has invented a Groove Enhancement Machine that proves synchronization of movement enhances cooperation and trust between people. I cannot begin to tell you how exciting I am just knowing this. So excited that I'm posting this!
I did not start Groove Malaysia just to indulge my love for dancing, keep myself active and help other women going through the same struggle I'm going through with menopause. I have the vision of using dance as a catalyst to create a better Malaysia where people can look beyond race, religion, politics, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic background, etc. to share a common love and joy for dancing. I could not be more thrilled when Williams shares the same vision that who knows, one day, “People will be grooving together and making the world a better place”.
So seriously ladies, give Groove a try and see how this global "movement" is creating positive impact on people's lives across the world. I give a free trial for my Weekend Pick-Me Up Groove every Sunday at 3:30pm @ We Heart Wellness Studio, Taman Danau Desa. Bring someone and book a session here right now!
Note: Williams in her interview here talked about how shy she is to dance in public, but because she was so driven by all the benefits of dancing, she signed up for a rhythm class. She banned her friends from attending the class together because she couldn't stand the embarrassment of dancing in front of them. She said while she's still trying to overcome that barrier and has gone back to dancing in the privacy of her home, she will never forget the high she got from that dance class, even days after. 😁😂😍