A study published in the Public Library of Science�s genetics journal in 2006 suggested that long ago the ability to dance was actually connected to the ability to survive.

According to the study, dancing was a way for our prehistoric ancestors to bond and communicate, particularly during tough times. As a result, scientists believe that early humans who were coordinated and rhythmic could have had an evolutionary advantage.

The researchers examined the DNA of a group of dancers and non-dancers and found that the dancers shared two genes associated with a predisposition for being good social communicators. In addition, the dancers were found to have higher levels of serotonin, known to boost moods in humans and mice.

Early humans might have danced to attract a mate, as far back as 1.5 million years ago, according to Steven J. Mithen, an archaeologist at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom.

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Music is known to stimulate pleasure and reward areas like the orbitofrontal cortex, located directly behind one's eyes, as well as a midbrain region called the ventral striatum. In particular, the amount of activation in these areas matches up with how much we enjoy the tunes. In addition, music activates the cerebellum, at the base of the brain, which is involved in the coordination and timing of movement.

First, people speculate that music was created through rhythmic movement�think: tapping your foot. Second, some reward-related areas in the brain are connected with motor areas. Third, mounting evidence suggests that we are sensitive and attuned to the movements of others' bodies, because similar brain regions are activated when certain movements are both made and observed. For example, the motor regions of professional dancers' brains show more activation when they watch other dancers compared with people who don't dance.

This kind of finding has led to a great deal of speculation with respect to mirror neurons�cells found in the cortex, the brain's central processing unit, that activate when a person is performing an action as well as watching someone else do it. Increasing evidence suggests that sensory experiences are also motor experiences. Music and dance may just be particularly pleasurable activators of these sensory and motor circuits. So, if you're watching someone dance, your brain's movement areas activate; unconsciously, you are planning and predicting how a dancer would move based on what you would do.

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Dance makes all the troubles, pains and bad thoughts go away. When you are on stage, and your heart is pounding, your knees are trembling, your feet are throbbing, that's when i know that dance is for me. I wouldn't survive without it. I'm never truly happy when I'm not at my studio. I fake laugh my way through the week, and then I get to dance. Then I know I can relax and laugh so hard I feel sick. I know that my dance teacher is there to support me through dance. Without my friends and of course my dancing classes, I actually think i would break down. Dance is unstoppable. To start one class, you will never be able to stop. I started off with 45 minutes of street dance a week. Now on top of that i take 45 minutes of ballet, 45 minutes of jazz and 45 minutes of tap. I'm not even a teenager, yet i feel this amazing passion build up inside me, when someone mentions the word....DANCE!

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