Why Ballet Helps You Become More Empathetic

In a recent study, ballet dancers and people with no dance experience were compared by measuring their emotional sensitivity when viewing others.

The participants were monitored by putting electrodes on the tips of their fingers and measuring the sweat response triggered by an emotional reaction.

The dancers were able to read emotions better and their body reacted in a stronger way than the ones in the control group.

Here is an explanation why ballet helps you develop more empathetical understanding of others.

It deepens your relationship with your body

Dancers learn to feel every little detail of movement so the communication between mind and body becomes much more precise. Every emotion is expressed through movement alone, so you learn to convert emotions and ideas into physical expression, which again helps you understand them better on an intuitive level.


Learning ballet intensifies emotional feeling through music

Music is full of emotional content, which is made available not only through listening to it, but much more through feeling the energy and then learning how to embody those feelings. Dancers get inspiration from the music, which sensitises them to something outside themselves.


Dancing ballet gives you more awareness of emotional responses in others. 

This skill is indispensable for successfully dancing synchronously with a partner or performing an ensemble work. You can feel your relative position to others or how nervous your partner is based on subtle differences in the way they move, a slight stiffening gives it away. You learn to communicate and connect to others through very subtle signals, which in return makes you more sensitive and receptive to them. You start intuitively recognising emotions by observing them.

A slight stiffening of the fingers or collarbones hints at feelings of anxiety. Jollity can be seen in the gaze, the tilt of a chin, or the arc of a dancer’s wrist through the air. Confidence exudes from the clarity of a neckline. The declarative brushing of a foot announces determination.

You can feel what the others experience, because your muscle memory allows you to know what anxiety, joy and confidence feel like on a physical level.

All in all, by becoming more in tune with your body through ballet, both your relationship to yourself and to others can largely benefit.

So what are you waiting for? Start exercising now

See you by the barre - remember you don't need any previous ballet experience to start our classes and it's available to all ages!


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Source: everydayballet