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Why Marriage Counselors Recommend Dancing
After years of living together, you and your partner likely finish each other’s sentences, you can imitate your spouse’s walk, laugh, or even their reaction to spotting a spider with perfection. You know your partner like the back of your hand, yet there’s a sense of disconnect that can occasionally set in for long-term couples.
After so many years together, the magic is gone, or so it would seem.
This is exactly what happened to Amelia Rachel Hokule’a Borofsky in her relationship with her partner. The spark became elusive. Recognizing this, the couple decided to take a vacation to Buenos Aires where they learned to Tango.
Through dance, Dr. Hokule’a Borofsky, who is a psychologist, learned a lot about their relationship. If dance was able to bring that magic spark back for one couple, is it possible it could help all couples?
Dance: The Marriage Refresher
Boredom is one of the top relationship killers according to the American Psychological Association (APA). After just seven years, couples who reported they were expercieng boredom were much less satisfied with their relationship nine years later, a study showed. The trouble is, it’s easy to let boredom seep into a long-term relationship.
If you’re stuck in a rut, the best thing you can do for your relationship is infuse it with something new. Don’t bank on a regular date featuring dinner and a movie. Instead, “Experts recommend breaking out of the routine and trying new things — whether that’s going dancing, taking a class together or packing an afternoon picnic,” the APA says.
Furthermore, dance involves a physical connection. The contact causes the release of hormones such as oxytocin which is known to help you feel love and connection with others. Not only that, but through dance, you have to coordinate with your partner. When you use your body language in this way, you’ll both feel much more emotionally attuned, studies show. Another study showed that engaging in physical activity, which could include dance, “couples report feeling more satisfied with their relationships and more in love with their partner.”
How Dance Doubles as Therapy
As the therapist, Dr. Hokule’a Borofsky fully endorses dance as a form of therapy as affirmed through her own experience. Dance offers the perfect set of conditions to bring couples close together again. Dancing is a flirtatious, sexy, fun, and exciting activity that can bring some of that honeymoon stage energy back to the relationship. Your heart beats faster, your palms might sweat, and the beat of the music lifts your spirit. Experiencing this with your partner offers you the chance to fall in love all over again, whether your relationship is on the rocks or not.
Not only that, but dance eliminates dangerous boredom that can drive a wedge between couples. It’s normal for couples to get into a boring routine. Between work and responsibilities at home, it can be easy to feel like everything’s on repeat. Even your dates may be routine as you head to the same favorite restaurant week after week.
With dancing, you never know what to expect. Your body must move, and you have the chance to focus fully on your partner. With changing beats and moving feet, you’re constantly challenged to think of the next step and do it together. There’s no getting bored on the dance floor. Experiencing this newness with your partner opens up communication, joy, and fun.
Are you ready to focus on and rejuvenate your relationship? Dance classes are the perfect place to get started with your very own dance therapy. Eliminate boredom, get some exercise and try something new together! By joining our family at Arthur Murray Dance Studio, you’ll get more out of it than a few new dance moves.
- American Psychological Association. (n.d.). Happy couples: How to keep your relationship healthy. [online] Available at: https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/healthy-relationships [Accessed 8 Mar. 2019]
- Borofsky, A. (2012). I, You, and ‘the Embrace’: Tango as Relationship Therapy. [online] The Atlantic. Available at: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/10/i-you-and-the-embrace-tango-as-relationship-therapy/263871/ [Accessed 8 Mar. 2019]
- DiDonato, T. (2014). 5 Reasons Why Couples Who Sweat Together, Stay Together. [online] Psychology Today. Available at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/meet-catch-and-keep/201401/5-reasons-why-couples-who-sweat-together-stay-together [Accessed 8 Mar. 2019]
- Stel, M. and Vonk, R. (2010). Mimicry in social interaction: benefits for mimickers, mimickees, and their interaction. – PubMed – NCBI. [online] Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19646328 [Accessed 8 Mar. 2019]