Dancing impacts pretty much every aspect of our lives—including our brains. That's right: Dance makes us smart. Like, super smart. Here are seven ways being a dancer enhances your brainpower.
It Teaches You to Learn Quickly
Knowing how to memorize four combinations in a weeks comes in handy when you need to remember seven math formulas for your next exam.
It Trains You to Be Persistent
Whether we're trying to conquer a difficult ballet step or mast a physics formula, dancers understand that giving up isn't an option.
It Makes Us Amazing Listeners
Part of being a smart person is being able to effectively listen to others—and we totally get that, thanks to years and years of absorbing feedback from our dance teachers.
It Makes Counting Music Second Nature
Five, six, seven, eight, dance we do appreciate...for helping us better understand even the trickiest music, another sign of intelligence!
It Makes Us Brilliant Problem Solvers
How can we do a crazy isolation with our shoulders while also pulling off a perfect tilt with our lower body? Dance is always asking us to do multiple things at once, making us great at solving tricky problems.
It Encourages Creativity
The smartest people are incredibly creative—and dancers, who can whip out brilliant improv at the drop of a hat, are pushed to explore their creativity from day one.
It Teaches Us to Always Think Eight Steps—or Counts—Ahead
Smart people plan ahead—and that's a quality every dancer has, too. Because your body couldn't have executed that tricky turn sequence unless your brain knew it was coming three eight-counts before.
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.
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Imagine attending American Ballet Theatre's prestigious NYC summer intensive, training among classical ballet legends. Imagine taking the stage at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals, competing against some of the country's best contemporary dancers. Now, imagine doing both—at the same time.
Welcome to Madison Brown's world. This summer, she's in her third year as a National Training Scholar with ABT, while also competing for NYCDA's Teen Outstanding Dancer title. (She's already won Outstanding Dancer in the Mini and Junior categories.) The logistics are complicated—ABT's five-week intensive overlaps with the weeklong NYCDA Nationals, which translates to a lot of cabs back and forth across Manhattan—but Maddie is committed to making the most of each opportunity. "I love contemporary and ballet equally," she says. "While I'm able to do both, I want to do as much as I can."
Maddie has an expressive face, endless extensions, and a quiet command of the stage. She dances with remarkable maturity—a trait noted by none other than Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges on NBC's "World of Dance," on which Maddie competed in Season 2. Although Maddie didn't take home the show's top prize, she was proud to be the youngest remaining soloist when she was eliminated, and saw the whole experience as an opportunity to grow. After all, she's just getting started. Oh, that's right—did we mention Maddie's only 14?
Corbin Bleu in rehearsal for "Kiss Me, Kate" (Jenny Anderson, courtesy Roundabout Theatre Company)
If you're a hardcore Broadway baby, today is the worst Sunday of the year. Why, you ask? The Tony Awards were last Sunday, so basically there's nothing to look forward to in life anymore—no James Corden being James Corden, no teary acceptance speeches from newly minted stars, no thrilling excerpts from the hottest new shows. Oh yeah, and there are 50 more Sundays to go before our humdrum lives are once again blessed with the next annual iteration of Broadway's biggest night.