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This Form of Dancing Can Make You More Intelligent


While any exercise should help enhance and maintain cognitive abilities by increasing the circulation to the brain, something about salsa dancing appears particularly beneficial. A new study found a single salsa dancing class boosted mental focus by 13 percent, understanding of new information by eight percent and memories by 18 percent.

Appearing on BBC’s broadcast of The Truth About Getting Fit, lead author Professor Michael Duncan from Coventry University said he has never seen a response of this magnitude from any other exercise. He believes the Cuban-style dance involves extra challenges that require continuous concentration, such as learning new steps to varying music patterns while moving in sync with the beat.

In the study, volunteers completed a series of mental tests that evaluated decision-making skills, working memory, ability to avoid distractions and capacity to judge the speed of moving objects. They then participated in a 30-minute salsa class in which the moves became progressively faster and complex. Following the class, they were retested on their mental functions: the aforementioned improvements were noted.

People who don’t engage in a regular physical activity often give the excuse that their schedule is too hectic. However, TV doctor Michael Mosley intimated that dancing is a good investment of time because it increases focus and productivity.

Zumba Enhances Quality of Life, Especially Emotional Health

The salsa study comes on the heels of research in 2017 that suggested taking Zumba classes can improve physical fitness, quality of life and emotional health. Zumba is an aerobic workout program comprised of movements inspired by Latin American dances and performed to Latin American music.

Quality of life is dependent upon every aspect of health, including social, physical, mental and emotional. Pain, vitality and functional ability are also influencing factors.

In the study conducted at the National University of Chimborazo in Ecuador, inactive university workers engaged in hour-long Zumba classes three time per week for five weeks. The participants experienced significant improvements in most quality of life factors. In addition, even after two months following the end of the intervention, most of the benefits continued to manifest at levels higher than those recorded at the onset of the program.

“it is interesting to note that the emotional dimension, which was the one with the lowest values at the beginning, was the one with the highest values at the end of the exercise program and, therefore, the one that experienced the greatest improvement,” said researchers Yaira Barranco Ruiz and Emilio Villa González.

The study was published in the Health Education Journal.

Dance Is Uniquely Beneficial for Health

Earlier studies show all styles of dancing have multiple health benefits, including protection from dementia and having an anti-aging effect on the brain. It has also been shown to help prevent the risk of falling and promote longevity. Because the activity has a social component that isn’t present in many forms of exercise, the advantages extend to this important aspect of wellness.

Dancing is also uniquely pleasurable, as it’s pure joy to become one with the music, timing your movements to a hot Latin beat, a Straus waltz or a Benny Goodman swing tune. Even contemporary dances like the Texas two-step done to country-western music are beneficial.


Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.

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