I wish more people took classes on dancing, especially freestyle dancing (break, hip-hop, jazz, ballet, &c.).
At the onset dancing and freestyle dancing are a mixture of fitness, improv, public speaking, and acting. Freestyle dancing saved me from my anxiety and shyness while giving me a fitness habit that’s great for my health and a life skill that’s surprisingly too useful.
At first dancing, especially for an anxious and shy person, is a struggle. You make excuses like how other people make excuses not to go to the gym. The best way to win against yourself is to do what I did, sign up for a bundle of expensive classes. Like that alarm clock that shreds your money if you don’t wake up, a lot more people would go to the gym if they willingly signed up for $300 a month classes.
When you start going to these classes begrudgingly and anxious out of your mind, even if you’re hiding in the back, there will be others like you. And somehow you’ll quickly talk and make friends. I’ve never seen one new person not talk to someone they didn’t know in a dance class. Dancers are very outgoing people, they will talk to you. Beware.
When you dance long enough those people you talk to in your classes start inviting you to the greatest parties of your life, dancer parties. They’ll ruin clubs for you.
Imagine a house-party/club where everyone is there for an activity first romance second (less desperation in the air). The lights are low but not too low, the music’s loud but at a respectable I-can-have-a-conversation-with-the-person-next-to-me level, and everyone around you knows some form of dance style at different degrees of mastery. It’s amazing.
Everyone is invited, but most people are there because they’re dancers or know dancers. Once you’re a regular at these parties dance just becomes something you enjoy. You slip into loving it unknowingly.
I know people that are amazing on a piano, and saxophone, when they walk into a room with either in it it’s their time to shine. But that’s not that often. Now music, music is everywhere all the time, it’s a part of being human. When you know how to dance life turns into a wonderful sitcom starring you; every once in a while, more often than you thought possible, you walk into a room and there’s a piano (good music) in the corner.
For the logical, it’s like walking into a room with an equation in the corner and no one minds if you solve it while thinking out loud. In fact they’re pretty much pushing you into it. You can enjoy your craft while everyone else is entertained.
At the higher levels dancing just becomes about solving the problem of logically staying in sync with the music you’re hearing for the first time (music has a tempo, it foreshadows what’s to come) while being as creative as you want once you’ve got the rhythm. It’s making your own body a brief program and painting at the same time. It’s why when people do the robot well it looks amazing.
Privately, dancing starts helping you in places you thought possible, sex, and in places you never thought possible, work. A lot of people walk to think, but once you’re an advanced dancer (good enough to teach a class on a style of dance without being laughed out of the door) you get something even better, you dance and think.
Most companies don’t let their employees go outside to walk and think on a problem ten or more so times a day. Most advanced dancers I know have the same connection between walking and thinking as they do dancing and thinking. They can sit still and move their arms or legs only, and it tremendously helps with their thinking. Even when there’s no music sometimes dancers just dance while lost in thought, like how some people occasionally talk to themselves out loud.
Someone once said the human body was biologically made to walk. Dancing I think, helps the body so much because of that, it’s you consciously and happily giving your body exactly what it needs, leaving the rest to just fall into place (quack scientist at your service).
All in all, dancing changed my life for the better, especially when I stuck with it. Zero drawbacks, 10/10 would do again. Be warned though you might end up like me, someone who loses all sense of anxiety and composure when good music is playing, any time any place. Even in meetings. Beware.