Considering that dancing is fun and mentally and physically healthy, it is not surprising that its popularity is increasing every year. The more awareness there is of the benefits of dancing, the more likely it is to grow as a trend, and the fact that this activity can help deal with things like the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease is testimony to its great power. There are many people, however, who would like to try out dancing but do not know where to start, or are afraid to take the initial step — quite literally. There can be something frightening about expressing oneself physically through movement. It is a practice which requires some measure of courage and outgoingness, because for those who are not used to it there is often a sense that they will be judged for their supposedly poor dance skills: it is not rare to find a group of people at a wedding or a party who “just don’t dance”. Enjoy the benefits of dancing requires that initial leap of faith, and professional help or group support can often help in doing so.

How to Begin

So what are the ways in which one can take the first step towards the dance-floor? Online lessons and beginners’ classes are two good places to start.

Online Lessons

Online dance lessons could be the perfect solution for those who are anxious or embarrassed about dancing socially. There are numerous free and paid websites where you can learn to dance from the comfort and convenience of your own home. This obviously does not require as much courage as doing so in public and, importantly, the vast amount of content available through the web offers an endless variety of different types of dance, helping you to discover the styles you connect to the most.However, it is important to remember that online lessons do not quite provide the same benefits social dancing offers. As we learn from Rafi Eldor’s story, and many other Parkinson’s disease patients who have confronted their condition through dancing, one of the therapeutic effects of this activity is its social environment. The excitement and intimacy of real life interaction is simply missing when one dances alone in their living room.

two dancers on the floor

Beginners’ Classes- A Supportive Environment

There is good incentive to go out there and be brave, but one does not have to be brave alone. There are many schools which offer beginners’ group lessons, ensuring that upon venturing out to explore dancing one is joined by like-minded people who probably also feel uncomfortable about dancing to some degree. The empathy and support one gets from the group is important for overcoming the initial fears of social dancing, and you could also take a friend or a spouse with you for extra fun. There are many single people who attend beginners’ classes though, and it is actually a great place to meet new make friends. This can be especially beneficial for people dealing with Parkinson’s disease, as it offers the kind of social interaction that is missing in many patients’ daily lives. However, social interaction and human contact is something missing from many people’s lives in the modern world. Going to a dance class can offer this and more, within a safe, supportive and fun environment that eliminates the initial fears some may associate with dancing.