Dance is a unique way to help improve your mental health

Sep 6, 2022, 6:40 PM | Updated: May 15, 2023, 1:59 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — As mental health crises continue to rise, there are ways to help cope with the stress and anxiety of the day-to-day world.  

Dr. Kristin Francis, child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist at Huntsman Mental Health Institute said dance is a unique way to release.

 “Dance itself as a movement is not only different than repetitive kind of exercise, but also it’s actually more of a self-expressive art form,” Dr. Francis said. “It can really take you out of the moment of feeling depressed or anxious and put you in just kind of a meditative experience.”

Sophia Cannella, an 11-year-old dancer at Ballet West, said dance helps her mentally. 

“If I’m having a hard day at school or a hard day in general, dance always makes me feel happier and free,” she said.

Ballet instructor Ashleigh Richardson said she can read her students’ emotions. 

“Sometimes when I walk in, they’ll just be kind of quiet. You could tell they had a bad day,” she said.

To help, Richardson said she adjusts her class when she notices a dancer is struggling mentally. 

“It depends on the kid. Some of them really like to be creative. So I’ll take a song and say, let’s take five minutes and make up our own little dance. Sometimes they don’t like to be creative, sometimes they just really like to work hard in class and that helps them,” Richardson said. 

Even if you are not a dancer, Dr. Francis says there are ways to help with your mental health.  

“Any type of movement is great for reducing stress, reducing anxiety, and increasing endorphins, which will help you feel better, they boost your concentration, your mood,” she said. 

To raise awareness for suicide prevention, dancers from all over the state can take master classes celebrating life and hope on September 10th at the Dance for Life Gala. 

That night, dancers will perform to raise money for suicide prevention and mental health programs throughout Utah.

 “No one wants to talk about it because it’s so heart wrenching, but if we don’t do anything then nothing will change, and we need it to change,” Kristin Barlow, Executive Director for Dance for Life said. 

You can buy tickets to the master class and the Saturday night gala.

KSL 5 TV Live

Healthy Mind Matters

(Laura Warburton)...

Emma Benson

‘Because of Hannah’: Utah mom who lost daughter to suicide provides resources for others

Laura Warburton remembers her daughter, Hannah, as a warrior.

20 days ago

SafeUT app...

Logan Stefanich, 

SafeUT app sees ‘record-breaking’ use in 2023

The SafeUT app saw "record-breaking" utilization during 2023, program leaders and partners announced Tuesday.

1 month ago

Kelsey (left) and Wendy Fayle (right) holding up a NAMI sign. (Courtesy: Wendy Fayle)...

Candice Madsen, KSL TV

NAMI Utah offers free classes for parents and adolescents dealing with mental illness

NAMI is offering free classes for both parents and adolescents that are dealing with mental illness.

1 month ago

YCC text messages...

Alex Cabrero

YCC Family Crisis Center in Ogden now accepting text messages

It is certainly not the easiest job out there. Amber Paaso will be the first to tell you she's burned out of doing it in the past. 

2 months ago

Dexton Obray was only 14 years old when he took his life in Monroe, Utah in October 2022. Since his...

Aley Davis

7th grade football player spreads mental health awareness after losing teammate to suicide

A 12-year-old boy is working to raise awareness after his football teammate died by suicide in October 2022.

3 months ago

Aron and Joe Tuia'ana (KSL TV)...

Peter Rosen

Utah man’s mission began on an overpass

Men are four times more likely than women to die by suicide. For Joe Tuia'ana that’s more than a statistic.

3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

Dance is a unique way to help improve your mental health