How Dancing Can Benefit Relationships, From Esther Perel

No matter your age or stage of relationship, Perel declares (with zero hesitation) that dancing is key for a successful, healthy partnership. “Dancing is attunement,” she says. “With dancing, there’s a nonverbal attunement to the rhythm of another, the body of another, the motion of another.”

In other words: Dancing can help you connect to your partner without saying a word. There’s eye-contact, there’s liveliness, and there’s a sense of trust and letting go—all of which Perel says can spark connection in a couple. Research backs it up too, as a 2015 study in the journal Biology Letters points to the power of dance to enhance social bonds amongst friends.

Not to mention, dancing fosters joy: “It is the one thing you cannot do and be [sad] at the same time,” Perel continues. “You can paint and cry; you can write and cry; you can listen to music and weep; but you can’t dance and weep….It energizes you. It enlivens you.”

In fact, Perel invites people in her own practice to commit to dancing, no matter the form. “I’ve spent hours watching elderly couples dance together, and it is grace; it is elegant; it is erotic; it is alive.”

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