Dance Plays a Vital Role in Health

Engaging in physical activities that include dance will enhance your life with an amazing array of health benefits. Dance has been part of human culture for as long as we have recorded history, and even beyond. Archeological evidence points to the important role dance played in ritual, communication and celebration dating back to the Neolithic Era in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas.

         In the post-modern age, there are as many forms of dance as there are cultures, ethnicities and races, from ballet, jazz and modern to tap, disco and ballroom. Don’t forget square dancing, aerobics, Brazilian, African and Zumba! And there are many more forms of dance!

         Dance plays a vital role in health, fitness and the pursuit of happiness! Health benefits include increased muscular strength, flexibility, motor coordination, aerobic fitness and physical stamina. Aside from obvious physical benefits, there are mental health benefits as well. Dance improves cognitive function and provides an overall sense of psychological well being.  

         One scientist who wrote about how aerobic exercise enhances mental health is Patrick J. Smith, a psychologist and biostatistician at Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina. It has been widely known that dance training has a dramatic impact on brain plasticity and provides synergistic impacts on key cognitive and behavioral processes that have a profound influence on mental health. 

         A recent article in the Washington Post, provided specific research and expert commentary revealing how physical activity can reduce and even ward off depression, anxiety and other psychological ailments. 

         Research points to dance as an exhilarating aerobic way to stay fit. Prior experience is not required. Nor do you have to have any special physical requirements. While dance can be rigorous and is often known to be a competitive athletic and artistic activity, keep in mind that many forms of dancing are simply about enjoyment, fitness and self-expression. 

         Whether you’re age 8 or 88, dance can change your life. Dance plays an important role in children’s physical and mental healthNumerous studies have pointed to dance as being much more than a physical and creative pursuit, but an activity that also helps children develop strong social skills, encompassing team building, communication, cooperation, and trust. Mommy bloggers, child psychologists and early education experts have all extoled  the benefits of dance for kids. What better way to channel the boundless energy of young children?

         And what better way to build a genuine community than to have fun with dancers of all ages exploring space, artistry and physical endurance?

         For older dancers, stronger bones, a reduced risk of osteoporosis and improved balance have been proven in a preponderance of medical studies. Dance has also been shown to improve overall cardiovascular health and is known to boost mental health by challenging the brain, thus staving off anxiety and depression. Check out this list of the 50 benefits of dancing

         If you are new to dance and want to try a few classes, first find a dance studio that creates an environment that is open, inclusive and welcoming. A great dance studio has a roster of teachers who are committed to students of all ages and abilities. A good teacher meets students where they are and is able to be supportive. 

         In the Seattle area, the Dance Conservatory Seattle was recently founded by Joshua Grant, Christopher E. Montoya and Sierra Keith. Located in Seattle’s South Park industrial area, the studio’s 2,700 square foot sprung dance floor is nearly as large as Studio C at Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB). Current class offerings include ballet, jazz, modern dance, yoga, and creative movement. For co-artistic directors Joshua “Josh” Grant and Christopher “Chris” Montoya, Dance Conservatory Seattle is the fruition of a lifelong dream to create a dance studio that is welcoming and supportive of students of all ages, abilities, identities and body types. 

         Joshua Grant

Joshua Grant has worked with the world’s foremost contemporary choreographers and is recognizable in the dance world as a soloist at PNB. Christopher E. Montoya, a highly accomplished professional dancer, completed his undergraduate degree with Cornish College of the Arts, and has a Master’s of Fine Arts from the University of Washington. Managing Director Sierra Keith began training in ballet as an adult and has long been known in the Seattle Dance Community for her commitment to dance and her popular news blog.

         The Conservatory’s well-rounded  approach emphasizes dance education and meeting the needs of individual students—exactly where they find them and moving them forward. All dancers are welcome to explore the incredible expanse of space at this studio. The Conservatory offers a lot of adult open classes in ballet, jazz, modern and yoga, for people of all ages, abilities and body types. 

               Since the studio’s launch in September 2020, offering dance classes for children has also been a goal. Aside from offering children the joy of learning how to dance, the studio’s founders are aware of the many benefits that dance brings to children. Aside from fostering self-expression and spatial awareness, dance training strengthens muscles, flexibility, range of motion, coordination and balance. Dance can also boost a child’s body awareness and self-esteem. 


Classes are offered for children, ages 5 – 18. The studio has classes in creative movement, pre-ballet and pre-jazz for ages 5 – 7. In addition, the studio also offers ballet, jazz and modern for ages 8 – 18.  Children’s classes are ongoing from now through June, then during the summer months, several dance camps for ages 5 – 18 will focus on movement, dance, crafts and creativity. 

         While movement and rhythm might come naturally to some people, Dance Conservatory Seattle recognizes that people of all ages have a wide range of abilities. Some might have more natural dance talent than others. Regardless of a person’s innate ability, the Conservatory fosters an inclusive and welcoming environment. Managing Director Sierra Keith said, “We acknowledge the differences of everyone in a very positive way—there are differences that make us unique and special, and they should be celebrated.”  

         Yet there are children and young adults who have the innate drive, talent and passion to have a full-fledged dance career. The Conservatory is also interested in mentoring the students who are interested in making the shift from exploring dance as a hobby to choosing dance as a career. According to co-artistic director Joshua Grant, “This would mean that their technique classes would need to increase in order to create more performing opportunities. We have the professional experiences that we can share with our dancers that choose to follow a dance career.”

         Dance Conservatory Seattle is committed to ensure that people of all ages and abilities are having fun. They are constantly checking in with students to make sure everyone is enjoying class. Through feedback, the Conservatory is able to make the necessary changes to ensure that everyone is having a great dance experience. “We encourage dancers to experience as much creativity as possible,” noted Co-Artistic Director Chris Montoya. “We want to move away from the idea that you have to look a certain way to be a dancer. Anybody can be a DANCER body.”

         If you want to stay fit, happy, healthy and have fun, try dance! 


For more information, please, 426 S Cloverdale St, Seattle, WA 98108

Check the website for details or contact Sierra Keith, Managing Director, Dance Conservatory Seattle +1-206-970-9510, email:



410 Line Dancers 50 Benefits of Dancing

Annual Review of Medicine, Volume 72, January 2021, The Role of Exercise in Management of Mental Health Disorders: An Integrative Review

Dance Benefits for Kids from SportsRec.

Washington Post, Feb 19, 2022, Exercise Boosts the Brain and Mental Health








Patricia Vaccarino

Patricia Vaccarino is an accomplished writer who has written award-winning film scripts, press materials, articles, essays, speeches, web content, marketing collateral, and ten books.

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