Why do we dance to music?

Every time that I listen to a piece of music that I love, I tend to imagine how I would dance to it, the sequence of steps that I would do, even if in real life I cannot perform them. For me, dancing is freedom, it is an expression of what you are feeling when you listen to a song or a piece of music, it is movement.

Recently, at one of our exhibitions I saw a child dancing to the music we were playing from our speakers and I thought: Why do we really dance to music? Or Why do we move when we listen to music? And I have come to find that it is not a simple question to answer.

If we look at the meaning of ‘dance’, we can find that it is a series of steps and movements that match the speed and rhythm of a piece of music, and ‘dancing’ is the activity of dancing for pleasure or in order to entertain others. Dancing has been an important part of human life and culture since the birth of the earliest human civilizations.

Thanks to our archaeological discoveries we know that dancing has been a part of human lives since the prehistoric times as per discoveries like the 30,000-year-old Bhimbetka rock shelters paintings in India and Egyptian tomb paintings depicting dancing figures from c. 3300 BC.

nebamun_dancers

Human beings have danced since the earliest civilizations as part of rituals, ceremonies, celebrations, etc. It has been used as a method of healing in rituals as well as a method of expression.

But why do we move our body when we listen to a piece of music?

The music stimulates different areas in our body and this causes us to move when we listen to music. For example, when music stimulates the “orbitofrontal cortex” in our brains and our “ventral striatum” both involved in the cognitive processing, decision making and reward behaviours, as well as the “cerebellum” that contributes to coordination, precision, and accurate timing; all of these stimulations cause us to enjoy the music and move at the rhythm of it, as a social requirement and for the rewarding feeling dancing gives us.

Now we know that certain stimulations received in our brain makes us move, but why do we like to dance? There is no scientific evidence for such question, but the answer could be any as we dance for different reasons: because we feel pleasure when we do it, because it is therapeutic, because it allows us to communicate what we feel in that moment, and for the social enjoyment when dancing with others.

So why do you dance?

For the perfect speaker to dance to, check out our  SOUNDBOOK GO – portable and light with great sound.

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