Are you an introvert? I know I am. Making a phone call gives me a moment’s pause and walking into a brand new place for the first time still makes my heart beat faster. Sound familiar? If so, introverts take heart, because dance can give you the courage and confidence to tackle your greatest social anxieties. Here are four ways to lower anxiety through dance (and use anxiety as a tool to become a better dancer!)
1. Feeling anxious? Use it to your advantage!
- A study followed anxious students and found they were more likely to complete their given task than those who were cool as a cucumber. So if you’re fretting about how you’ll do in your ballroom lessons, you’re more likely to succeed as a result! How cool is that?!
2. Reach out and touch someone
- Social scientists can tell you that the mere act of being touched releases the cuddle hormone, known as oxytocin. So if you’re stressed at the thought of coming in for dance lessons, your stress will be put to rest in the arms of your dance partner. And the more you dance, the better you’ll feel!
3. Repetition is key
- Showing up for your first lesson may be a bit stressful from the perspective of an introvert, but if you come in the same time for your next lesson, and the same time after that, you’ll get more and more comfortable with the lay of the land. Before you know it, you’ll be movin’ and groovin’ with confidence!
4. Practice socializing
- The beauty of ballroom dance is the variety of ways available for introverts to develop and hone their social skills. Whether it’s introducing yourself to a stranger in the lobby or engaging in small talk during a warm-up, the more you do it, the better you’ll become. Rehearse a line or two such as “Hi, my name is [insert name]. Would you like to dance?” Then challenge yourself to dance with three strangers. After a few weeks, you’ll run out of strangers #goodproblem
Moral of the story? Anxiety is your friend. Not only will it give you greater focus, but by tackling those things that make us anxious, we’ll feel a greater sense of accomplishment. You’ll pat yourself on the back and say, “Hooray! Go me!” Which is why you should give ballroom dancing a try. So don’t let anxiety or your introverted ways keep you from being the kind of person you’ve always wanted to be, doing the things you’ve always wanted to do. Pick up the phone, schedule and lesson, and let the fun begin!
And make sure to check back next week for Kelly’s article on dancing from the perspective of an extrovert!