Gang, two years ago I found I have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). I believe in my heart it’s a superpower.
I am 35 years old now, and I wish I had an earlier diagnosis. Still, I was grateful to have found out I have ADHD. But I’m most grateful that I started dancing years ago despite not knowing that 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 can help you with ADHD.
First reason: Dancing is a healthy outlet.
I have struggled with many negative habits in my life, and I don’t want to blame myself for this. People with ADHD are constantly hungry for growth and stimulation, leading to negative patterns. 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. Since there is no top of the mountain for this activity, dancers are constantly motivated to grow.
Every time I think I’ve reached a peak in my Salsa, in my Bachata or whatever style of dance, I find myself still trying new things. Dancing never gets boring; instead, it keeps me engaged and creative.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve felt excited to step on a dance floor, as every time I dance with a new person, I discover a unique dancing style and rhythm. A process of mutual adjustment is part of dancing. Therefore, no dance has ever been the same, which is an experience I love.
Second reason: Creating connection.
Unfortunately, people who have ADHD tend to feel they are outsiders. We’re just a little bit more sensitive. We feel like we are donkeys living in a world of horses without realizing that we’re unicorns.
But I feel fortunate because dancing provided me with something I starved for my whole life, a sense of connection and community. Of course, everyone needs connection, but particularly people with ADHD need meaningful relationships and a sense of community.
When I started taking dance classes, I found a group of people that accepted me and made me feel like I belong, which is why I went from being a student to volunteering, then became an assistant and progressed into an instructor position, finally taking over the school.
I found my home. I found my family, my community, and you can find yours too.
When you start to dance, you realize how tight, inclusive, and welcoming the dance community is, from your classmates to your teachers. Finding the place you belong to is a fantastic feeling. When I found what I needed, I understood that line that says, “You don’t know how much you were starving for it until you first tasted it.”
Second reason: Dancing allows a release of energy.
Whether you’re introverted or extroverted, there is just a lot of energy that we need to burn and what’s better than to burn off energy on a dance floor, especially if you do Salsa. 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 that I have released all the tension.
I’m able to calm my racing mind because that’s what ADHD feels like, doesn’t it? “It feels like you have a race car for a brain, and what you need to learn is to be better with your brakes.” This line belongs to a fantastic author, researcher and psychiatrist. His name is Dr. Hallowell, and I encourage you to read his book ADHD 2.0, which set me to an optimistic viewpoint of ADHD.
Never forget one thing, whoever you are, whatever your age, if you have ADHD or maybe you are in a relationship with someone who has ADHD, It is a gift, a superpower, something beautiful. It’s called the entrepreneur gene, and there are many positive things about it.
I’m learning to understand our potential, but my appreciation grows every day, and I feel joy in sharing my experience to help others. I’m grateful that I started to dance. For the last twelve years, it’s been therapy, a lifesaver that has helped me ground myself. In addition, I developed a deep connection to a caring community. Dancing helps slow down my racing mind allowing me to focus and giving me a healthy level of stimulation. I am convinced I’ll do the same for you.
Funny enough, as I’ve been more open about my ADHD, I started to run into more and more dancers who do have ADHD as well. I hope someday I get a chance to dance with you, connect with you and share in person the positive impact that dancing has given as an adult person with an ADHD brain.
I can’t wait to welcome you to our big family, have you coming in week to week, having fun, connecting with new friends and letting lose to amazing Latin songs. Click here to check 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].