Electronic music zealots had better continue dancing: a new Oxford University study has revealed that dancing in the presence of others can influence our health, wellness, and social interconnectedness.
Bronwyn Tarr, a postdoctoral researcher, found that getting down on the dance floor with others releases the bonding hormones and endorphins that increase our feeling of connectedness with one another.
Tarr conducted her study with 264 Brazilian students and separated them into groups with either low or high exertion levels of dancing. Afterwards, they measured each group’s endorphin levels by comparing their pain tolerance level using an inflatable blood pressure arm cuff. Tarr found that the groups with higher exertion rates could handle more discomfort, indicating a stronger release of bonding endorphins. In short, the harder they danced, the better and more connected they felt.
The results may help give us insight as to why humans have evolved this behavior of wiggling around together to music. Almost every culture has some sort of dance or moving-based behavior, it’s even so engrained in our human nature that our babies do it too.
“When we grow up, we seem to start limiting our expression of that inherent musical ability, which is probably due to our cultural context. People don’t often think of themselves as ‘musical’ or ‘a dancer’ unless they do it as their job, I think adults need to look for opportunities to unlock that creativity that was originally there.” Said Tarr.
So next time a foot-tapping beat comes on, get your back off the wall, shake that groove thing, and get those feel-good endorphins flowing; your delight depends on it.