Dance is not just a movement to music. It allows us to feel embodied, push ourselves, and make long-lasting connections. “When truly dancing, you are truly most free,” Says CEO and Artistic Director Hannah Taylor-Kormondy of South Sound Dance in Tumwater.

students in a jazz dance class at South Sound Dance
Students participate in Jazz class. The South Sound Dance family promotes growth, teamwork, and inclusion. Photo courtesy: South Sound Dance

Hannah and her staff value the freedom and strength that dance provides. This February, she and her team celebrated Share the Love month, wherein they spoke of why they loved to dance and teach it to their students.

With COVID-19 impacting all aspects of daily life, movement and connection are more important than ever. Hannah values this so much that she never fully closed her business at the start of this pandemic. While the physical doors may have shut, her teachers were by her side, ready to move to the online space and continue offering classes. Students and parents were incredibly grateful to have this outlet available during such uncertain times.

In our often sedentary lives, movement is vital. Whether working from home, schooling remotely, or back to in-person spaces, we can all benefit from a practice such as dance. “In an ever more digital world, dance is a real human experience,” shares Hannah.

With that in mind, Hannah shared 10 reasons why everyone should dance.

  1. Dance builds confidence, feelings of empowerment, and belief in oneself. You can feel these effects after just one class and especially after continual practice.
  2. Dancing releases dopamine and oxytocin in our brains, making us feel happiness and joy. “Students come in on a tough day and immediately start to feel better,” Hannah says. Half of the battle is simply showing up.
  3. Dance improves our cognitive and physical function. It enhances neural connectivity, utilizing several brain functions: kinesthetic, rational, musical and emotional.
  4. Dance offers us stability, calmness and safety. You can leave all of your worries at the door.
  5. students in a class at South Sound Dance
    There is something for every one at South Sound Dance, a fun way to get and stay in shape! Photo credit: Kate Ubermuth

    Dance teaches us compassion, empathy and understanding. It is a beautiful way to express ourselves, tell stories and relate with each other.

  6. Dance teaches work ethic, resilience, patience and determination. We get to see in real-time how our efforts pay off, learning new movements and skills in ways that we didn’t think possible, and ways that we can move our bodies.
  7. Dance motivates us to be individual thinkers. We can create our movements, play around, and test our preferences. We can be a part of something bigger while also recognizing our unique strengths.
  8. Dance builds a community filled with love, respect and kindness. Students often build long-lasting friendships, connecting while celebrating each other’s accomplishments.
  9. Dance teaches students to be present and in touch with their bodies. It is a mindful practice that improves spatial awareness and gives students time to be off screens. Instead, students interact with themselves, their environment, and their peers. Hannah says it helps students step away from all the noise.
  10. Dance is a unique creative outlet. It is free of judgment, societal expectations, and school or work struggles. It allows us to be where we are, learning at different stages and paces. “Students have a voice here that they don’t get at school,” says Hannah.

No matter what age, we all need creative outlets, and we all need movement. Dance is a great way to get the best of both. “The big thing for sure is dance itself, movement itself, and how powerful it is for our students,” tells Hannah. She also notes how students taking multiple classes in different forms of dance thrive.

little girl holding a large parachute "tent" at South Sound Dance
Classes for tiny tots to adults means everyone can have fun at South Sound Dance. Photo courtesy: South Sound Dance

Ultimately, dance creates successful, well-rounded human beings. It is a practice intrinsic in every human and every culture. Hannah and her instructors have successfully taught people ranging in age from 18 months to 79 years old! “Dance is for everyone,” Hannah sums up.

When Hannah realized there weren’t many summer offerings for kids under 6 in Olympia, she thought, “Why not offer some?” Their week-long summer camps are enrolling now, as well as their standalone classes all summer long.

If you or your child want to try out a class, South Sound Dance offers $5 trial classes for children and adults to dip their toes into the exciting world of dance.

For more information, visit their website or call 360.918.2171. Their hours are Monday through Friday 9:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can also email info@southsounddance.com for more information.

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