The Dance-Empathy Connection

You may have read this recent article in The Atlantic about teaching children empathy through dance classes. Studies show that, after participating in regular dance programming, students are more accepting of others, more respectful of each other, and show increased skills in cooperation and collaboration.

We’re pretty sure something similar – something wonderful – happens in Zumba® classes. Here are just three of the ways we think Zumba promotes empathy for others:

Creating a common interest

Regardless of how different you are when you walk through the door, the people in a Zumba class share a love of dance and music. You’re also likely to find new friends with the same goal as you, whether it’s to unwind after a long day or work off a few pounds. These common interests create an instant opportunity to bond and relate to people you may not have met otherwise.

Being vulnerable

Strangers become fast friends when you’re unabashedly shaking your booty in a Zumba class! There are very few places in the world where you can let loose with people you may have just met. But, when you know that everyone in the room is willing to be just as vulnerable, walls come down and connections are made.

Shared experience

How many times has something made you laugh or think of a great memory that only your Zumba friends would understand? The memorized choreography, Zumba lingo, and inside jokes that you share with your classmates fosters a bond among a group of individuals who might have no other business being in the same room, let alone becoming great friends.

What do you think: How does Zumba promote empathy and relationship-building?

Jennifer Lauren is a Zumba® instructor from New York. She blogs about teaching Zumba® classes and all things fitness at www.TheZBeat.com. You can follow her on FacebookorTwitter.

Jennifer Lauren

Jennifer Lauren is a Zumba® instructor from New York. She blogs about teaching Zumba® classes and all things fitness at www.TheZBeat.com.

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