Dance for a Beautiful Mind

I love to dance! I dance in the kitchen, in the shower, but to dance in public unless I have had copious amounts of wine is another story. Until now…..

We all know the great results you can get from physical exercise through dance.  More recently we’ve seen research on further health benefits of dancing, such as stress reduction and increased serotonin level, with its sense of well-being. And here is the exciting news – frequent dancing can help to prevent Alzheimer’s. This was proved in a recent study.

The essence of what they discovered was making decisions.  What it suggests when it comes to improving your mental ability is to involve yourself in activities which require split-second rapid-fire decision making, as opposed to rote memory.  Dancing integrates several brain functions at once — kinaesthetic, rational, musical, and emotional — further increasing your brain connectivity.

So time to start dancing!

My mission for a Beautiful Mind was to find a form of dance I could really connect to and love. Here is my week of dancing.

Day 1. Ballet

I haven’t done ballet since I was 5, so this was a challenge. Trying to keep track of the moves had my mind definitely working on the quick response mechanisms. My serotonin levels got a huge boost. I was laughing so much as I felt more like a dying swan than a graceful ballerina. My first class was at Next Generation where they hold a barre class, although I felt very unco I loved it. There are many classes now available in most cities around the world as Ballet Barre is the new hot trend. If you don’t have access or feel to shy to try in public I would highly recommend Ballet Beautiful – an online class.

ballet

Day 2. Zumba

Ok – so here’s the truth – I am a closet Zumba fan. It just makes me happy and I get to revisit my Flash Dance days. Zumba people are a different breed and I love them for it with their passion for the dance, the music and the sheer joy of shakin their bootie! Learning the moves certainly gets the old brain working too. I used to be a regular and after a year hiatus I re joined and consequently had to start over learning the new Zumba dances. Download the Zumba app and start practicing in the privacy of home and when you are ready go and break out your moves at your nearest Zumba class.

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Day 3. Ballroom Dancing

I am very lucky as my husband Geoff is a bit of a Fred Astaire. He is the guy at the party who all the girls dance with as their husbands won’t (tough job for him but somebody’s got to do it!) So my twinkle toes hubby very happily obliged to teach me some moves. I know I will never be Dancing with the Stars but I did love the exhilarating feel I got when the steps came together. I also felt my brain getting a good workout! There are so many different types of ballroom dancing you can attend and usually in most community centres. This would be the best dancing of all for improving your cognitive brain function and help to prevent to big “A”. I am looking into a regular class so I can be my husbands Ginger.

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Photo by Jasmin Devereux Barnes

Day 4. Pole dancing

I decided to find my inner show girl and give this a go! I headed to Altitude Pole  to learn the age old art of navigating the pole. If you want to get your sexy back and also enjoy a workout beyond compare then this is for you. While it may seem simple the moves executed can become difficult as you move up the ladder (or the pole – excuse the pun!!!) A work out for the mind and the bod and lots of fun but not sure if it is for me.

poll-dancing

Day 5. Dancing with my Mama

This dancing was for the pure joy of seeing a spark in my darling mother’s eye when I put on Neil Diamond – one of her favs. For people that have Alzheimer’s, music and dance is so incredibly beneficial for them. My mother Colyn is in the last stage of Alzheimer’s and can not walk or talk so to have this moment with her made this hands down one of my favourite dances of the week. Hopefully this video says it all (please excure my dreadful singing!)

So now it is your turn. Take the plunge in the knowledge that dancing will not only keep you fit, keep your endorphins pumped, it may also help to prevent Alzheimer’s.

Please spread the word on Dancing for a Beautiful Mind

Love

Charlotte

x

Published by: Charlotte Devereux

As a child I was privileged growing up with an entrepreneurial mother, father & grandmother who’s incredible business acumen and innovative spirit passed onto me my love for creating. It’s in my blood. I embrace the power of possibility considering new ways to prevent Alzheimer's & depression as well as delving back in time to ancient rituals . I am in my happiest place when mixing up lotions and potions. I get to fulfil this with my product development role at Girl Undiscovered - 100% wild skincare which I founded with my two business partners in 2015. I always try and get in a headstand in each morning for an instant face lift and endorphin rush. A 10 minute meditation helps me to keep calm and juggle a crazy beautiful 7 year old and two dynamiyc yet challenging teenagers, an energetic Labrador and a hard working, paddle board crazy husband. My previous life as a pregnancy clothing designer for my business EGG has put me in touch with the magical way the body changes and sparked my interest in wellbeing. A natural progression for me in keeping skin healthy, body nurtured and mind supported through exercise, diet and wellbeing. Caring for my darling mother who has Alzheimer's and my journey on the prevention helps me to remember my inner girl as the curious, kind and creative one I continue to want to be.

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13 thoughts on “Dance for a Beautiful Mind”

  1. Dear Charlotte, I remember your mother from our primary school days in Remuera and later was aware of what a beautiful woman she is, very elegant and serene. I am sorry to hear that she has Alzheimer’s. What a cruel disease it is and my heart goes out to you. What a fortunate lady she is to have such a loving and caring daughter as you.
    My best wishes,
    Kath Bridgford

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  2. Dear Charlotte, I applaude your courage, creativity and love ~ which you have in abundance. The powerlessness we feel when someone we love is sick can be crippling, but you with your beautiful mind & heart have turned this on its (hip hop) head into something positive, actionable and full of hope. Arohanui. Deb x

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    1. Thank you so much Deb for your wonderful words. I can remember what you went through with your mama and it is so tough. This is giving me peace knowing that even if I can help one person it brings me joy ( plus I get to dance!). Lots of love x

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  3. Your journey will help so many. Including yourself as this is one of the worst thibgs to have to watch and endure. Brave lady we are here with you every step of the way.💜

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  4. Charlotte what a truly wonderful daughter you are to our darling Colyn. How I miss her and all the fun we had while you and my Emma were growing up. I think of Colyn so much and know she is in wonderful hands so sad for all to watch. Take care you have a beautiful family who Colyn would have always adored if only this shocking disease would just go away. Keep your blog going and dancing Colyn would be so proud Charlotte of how you have dealt with so much. My love to you. Anna Yatesxxx

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