After decades of personal experience, it makes sense to me that doing ballet enhances body, mind and spirit, but science seems to finally be taking notice. A recent crop of articles reveal the myriad of benefits doing ballet holds for people of all ages and abilities.

Here’s a look at a variety of ballet-related findings and op-eds.

Ballet and Wisdom

Scientists were shocked to discover that practicing classical ballet can make you wiser! The study was investigating the relationship between meditation and wisdom. Ballet was just thrown in as a comparative measure. But the study uncovered that the more hours spent practicing classical ballet, the greater test subjects scored for wisdom.

https://news.uchicago.edu/article/2016/03/08/meditation-and-ballet-associated-wisdom-study-says

Ballet and Older Women (Great Legs, Sharper Memory, & Perkier Sex Lives!)

Women testify to fitness and wellness results that go far beyond a typical trip to the gym. Not only does ballet make them fit and strong, but it also has both calming and confidence building benefits that make them feel more centered and alive!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3925804/Want-great-legs-sharper-memory-perkier-sex-life-tutu-Meet-middle-aged-women-say-ballet-s-transformed-lives.html

Ballet and Business Leadership

Attention to detail, a constant desire to learn, grow, and do better work, taking risks, disciplined effort, trust, creativity–these are qualities ballet training hones that also make for success in business.

https://www.fastcompany.com/3065708/work-smart/these-business-lessons-from-ballets-leaders-are-totally-on-point

Ballet and Football

College and professional sports teams use ballet as a training tool to help their athletes become more flexible, agile, powerful, and injury resistant. In fact, ballet is often the “secret weapon” in the training arsenal of top athletes!

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/columnist/bell/2016/11/13/broncos-saints-blocked-extra-point-will-parks-justin-simmons/93779878/

Ballet for Parkinson’s Patients

Ballet programs help maintain strength, flexibility, motivation, and optimism for people with this degenerative neurological disease.

http://www.messengernewspapers.co.uk/news/14763721.Ballet_therapy_lessons_launched_for_Stretford_Parkinson__39_s_sufferers/

Ballet and Empathy/Emotional Development

A new research study suggests that dancers are more emotionally sensitive than non-dancers and that dance training might be a way to become more aware of emotions!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/arts-and-entertainment/wp/2016/09/08/can-dancing-make-you-a-better-person-studies-suggest-link-between-ballet-sensitivity-to-others/

My article offers a dancer’s perspective on why ballet may promote emotional awareness.

http://www.everydayballet.co/ballet-empathy-why-dancing-helps-develop-emotional-radar/

Ballet and Multiple Sclerosis

A recent study has shown that Ballet helps MS patients… From the article:

“…Classical ballet has a high cognitive demand, involving the entire body all the time. Of all possible forms of dance, it is the most demanding, but it creates the most dexterous people on the planet. It’s a technique that has been developed over 500 years, and over that time people have been able to identify what really works in training the motor system.”

http://www.medpagetoday.com/mastery-of-medicine/neurology-mastery-in-ms/61506

Ballet and Fitness (sports medicine perspective)

Ballet technique corrects a lot of imbalances in the body by increasing flexibility, core strength, joint mobility, muscle dynamics, balance, and coordination. What’s not to love about that?

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/want-improve-joint-mobility-flexibility-strength-consider-ballet-172800711.html

Ballet and Life Lessons

Learning how to approach complexity and challenge with curiosity, commitment, and resiliency are life skills that ballet helps develop. Definitely part of the “everyday” advantage that ballet brings to real life!

http://elitedaily.com/sports/life-lessons-ballet/1677783/

Ballet offers a wellspring of benefits that make life better! The trick is giving ourselves the experience of ballet without criticism about ourselves or others. Simply allowing beauty to be a part of your physical and mental experience can do wonders for mind, body, and spirit!

HAPPY DANCING!

-Tiekka

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