A recent Hungarian study that was published in the European Journal of Oncology Nursing stated that belly dancing could help improve the quality of life, social support, and life satisfaction for women who are going through cancer treatments and recovery.
The results are:
Health-Related Quality of Life, Mean (SD)
Dancing Group Control Group Between group differences
Baseline 56.60 (10.311) 63.46 (12.228)
Follow-up 51.87 (4.452) 59.88 (11.173) F = 10.637 p = 0.001
Within group changes -4.72 -3.58 t = -0.542 p = 0.589
Perceived Social Support, Mean (SD)
Baseline 65.22 (5.469) 57.41 (8.851)
Follow-up 67.55 (2.672) 53.88 (10.475) F = 2.646 p = 0.000
Within group changes 2.33 -3.53 t = 5.927 p = 0.000
Overall Life Satisfaction, Mean (SD)
Baseline 57.36 (8.154) 48.42 (10.739)
Follow-up 59.55 (9.653) 45.05 (11.560) F = 2.402 p = 0.001
Within group changes 2.19 -3.37 t = 3.839 p = 0.000
While the dancing group had a lower health-related quality of life score than the control group (and a slightly larger drop in scores after a year), the perceived social support and life satisfaction scores are greater than the control group. Overall, the researchers agreed that women with cancer who undergo a belly dancing class as part of a complementary treatment would likely fare better physically, psychologically, and socially than those who don't. Limitations of this study include the non-randomization of the study, small sample size, and the inability to quantify the belly dancing class.
What Does the Scientific Evidence Currently Say?
According to a 2011 Cochrane systematic review of dance and movement therapy's effectiveness, the reviewers did not find support of body image yet it may likely improve cancer patients' quality of life. However, there is a lack of quality studies that cover this topic and conclusions about dance and movement therapy's effectiveness remain hazy. But this does not necessarily mean that you should quit dancing if you find it enjoyable and is helping you cope and recover.
Dance may be applied to those with developmental and physiological issues, such Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and diabetes. “With dance, 95% of the patients forget about their health issues or limitation and exciting actively participated,“ Ana Gallardo-Wong explained, who is social worker in San Diego, California. “The music and the physical movement, like dancing, provided them with happiness, satisfaction, and great accomplishment, which helps to increase their self-esteem. They are instantly transformed in expression. I have observed this for 14 years of how music with dance generated happiness and independence.”
If you don't like it, you may not likely continue to do it. In the world of dance, there is a plethora of styles and music that stem from different cultures.
* Country line dancing
* Argentine tango
* Cuban salsa
* Mexican cumbia
* Dominican bachata
* Filipino pangalay
Regardless of whether you had cancer or other illnesses, do you dance? If so, what kind and why?