Dancing for People With an ADHD Brain
Two years ago I learned that I have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). I believe it’s a superpower. While I wish I had an earlier diagnosis than in my 30s, I am still grateful. But mostly, I’m grateful that I started dancing years ago. Dancing is a form of therapy for ADHD. So if you have ADHD and are reading this article, I want to offer three good reasons why dancing is helpful for people with an ADHD brain.
A Healthy Outlet
People with ADHD are constantly hungry for growth and stimulation, leading to negative patterns. I know because I have struggled with negative habits my entire life. But having a healthy way to channel the potential of our active minds makes a big difference. After twelve years of dancing, I can confirm that dancing is very stimulating. Dancers are constantly motivated to grow. So dancing is a perfect outlet for those with ADHD brains.
Every time I think I’ve reached a peak in Salsa or Bachata or whatever style of dance, I find myself learning and trying new things. Dancing never gets boring. Instead, dancing keeps me engaged and creative. Every partner, move, song, and style of dance is different. Therefore, no dance has ever been the same, which is an experience I love.
Unfortunately, people who have ADHD tend to feel they are outsiders. We feel like we are donkeys living in a world of horses without realizing that we’re unicorns. But dancing provided me with what I had always searched for; connection and community.
When I started taking dance classes, I found a group of people that accepted me and made me feel like I belong. That is why I went from being a student to volunteering, to becoming an assistant and then an instructor. And now I am the director of Toronto Dance Salsa. I found a home, another family and a community through Latin dancing and you can find yours too. So this is a benefit of dance for those with an ADHD brain and without.
For me, there is no better way to burn off energy and tension than dancing. So whenever I get anxious with my mind running a million miles a minute, I find my way to the dance floor, and after a bunch of songs, I feel better. For someone with ADHD, the release of energy through dance is invaluable.
Dancing allows me to put a brake on my racing thoughts because it forces me to be present in the moment. ADHD…”feels like you have a race car for a brain, and what you need to learn is to be better with your brakes.” This quote is from ADHD 2.0 New Science and Essential Strategies for Thriving with Distraction – from Childhood to Adulthood by Edward M. Hallowell M.D. and John J. Ratey M.D. It is a fantastic book and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about ADHD.
ADHD is a gift, a superpower and something beautiful. Many entrepreneurs have ADHD. You simply have to learn to harness its potential. Dancing for people with ADHD is one way to tap into your superpower. Dancing has provided me with a creative outlet, calmed my racing ADHD brain and allowed me to find a new group of friends, family and community. So whether you have ADHD or not, dancing can help you as well. To learn more about How Dance Helps with Mental Health click on the article.
I can’t wait to welcome you to our big family, have you come in every week, have fun, socialize, and let loose to amazing Latin songs. Click here for our current schedule.
If you have any questions you would like me to answer, here are some ways you can contact me: message me on Instagram (torontodancesalsa), on Twitter (#torontodancesalsa), on Facebook (Toronto Dance Salsa) or email me at [email protected].