Health Check: Finding Your Therapy In Dance


Life throws curveballs that can derail our plans: morning traffic accidents, a lice outbreak at your child’s school, or jury duty during a planned vacation. Yet, nothing hits harder than receiving unsettling medical news.


Being diagnosed with a health issue requires a significant life adjustment, including doctor visits, tests, and managing medications. How will you handle it? Will you be defined by your diagnosis, or will you push forward, refusing to let illness take over? What will be your escape? Consider dance as a powerful ally.


Dance’s mental and physical benefits are well-documented, and it’s likely your doctor has already recommended exercise for health improvement. Psychology Today highlights that dancing boosts endorphins, the brain’s feel-good chemicals, enhancing happiness, pain tolerance, and a sense of well-being. Essentially, dancing is akin to a natural happy pill.


Keith Rossin, a student at Arthur Murray Dance Studio Sterling Heights, discovered joy in dancing despite his battle with glaucoma, an eye condition that can lead to vision loss. The treatment for his condition lowers his blood pressure, sometimes causing dizziness. However, Keith, now retired, prioritizes dancing, attending the studio weekly. After one dance session, he noticed his blood pressure remained stable for hours, a change so positive he felt compelled to share it with the studio. Dancing, for Keith, is not just about the physical activity but the joy of being surrounded by good music and great company, enhancing his overall “emotional enjoyment” and offering an unexpected health benefit.


For Anuradha K. Ganpati of Los Angeles, dance served as a therapeutic outlet following her breast cancer diagnosis. Anuradha, a long-time practitioner and teacher of Bharatanatyam, a classical South Indian dance, faced a daunting journey through diagnosis, surgery, and treatment. Despite the physical and emotional toll, including weight gain, hair loss, and pain, she found solace and motivation in returning to dance. Dance and physical therapy played crucial roles in her recovery, helping her regain full mobility in her arm much faster than anticipated.


Encouraged by her dance instructor, Viji Prakash, and facing the imminent loss of Prakash’s husband to cancer, Anuradha set a monumental goal: to perform an “Arangetram,” a solo dance debut marking a significant milestone in a dancer’s journey. Despite initial hesitations due to the demanding nature of the performance, support from friends and family propelled her forward. In September 2015, Anuradha completed her Arangetram, a testament to her resilience and the transformative power of dance.


The saying “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” aptly applies when facing health challenges. Keith and Anuradha chose not to be limited by their conditions, instead channeling their energy into their passion for dance. Let us help you discover your passion in dance!