Research has found that watching dance seems to evoke an emotional response in people. People often feel relaxed listening to music and it seems that dance can have a similar effect on people, but the type of effect depends on the type of dance that the person is watching. Studies have found that the type of movement that the dancers performed seemed to influence how people felt. In fact, researchers have found that watching dancers perform more rounded movements seemed to make people feel happier than watching less rounded movements.

Brain Triggers

Watching dance can also stimulate memories in the brain. People may also conjure up visual images while watching dance. Sometimes dance may evoke a feeling of sadness, but most spectators still report this as not an unpleasant experience. Certain dance movements that are highly energetic may trigger feelings of energy in spectators. How impressive a movement is may also impact how we respond to it. Certainly, watching professional dancers can trigger feelings of awe and admiration in spectators. While watching a dancer we often realize that they are very talented, athletic and have great stamina.

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The nerves in your brain are activated by stimuli in the environment and certainly watching people dance also activates nerves. Studies have found that both the brain and muscles do respond to watching people dance. This is largely because people can empathize with others, so when we see sadness being exhibited we tend to feel sad and when we see joy being exhibited then we also feel joy.

It is also possible that watching dance is also helpful to your brain because you are also listening to the music that accompanies the dance. We know that music also evokes emotions, visual images and memories. The combination of the expression of music in dance is a powerful image for the brain to interpret.

Muscle Response

Researchers found that people who watched ballet had a muscle response in their arms. This is a surprising response but apparently watching the ballet triggers a mirror neuron response in spectators. This is a very intriguing result since people who are watching are not actively participating in the dance, yet there is some muscle response to what is being viewed. This may be why it is helpful for people who are learning to dance to watch other people dancing.

Stress Relief

Watching dance is also a good distraction for people who live busy and stressful lives. It can transport you into a different world and stop you from stressing over your everyday life and problems. Many cultures have traditional dances that tell a story about the culture. This is also a great way to learn about a new culture and is thus popular and intriguing for tourists to watch. If we see a dance we may instantly think of a culture, for instance, if we see a Zulu dance, we conjure up images of an African savanna. Watching dance is good for our brains and allows us to conjure up visual images and memories.