This is one interesting, happy-making read.

If you love dance (as I do), if you are interested in a fun way to try and keep fit, or even if you are a non-dancer but interested in psychology, this book is for you.

The author, Dr. Lovatt, is a former professional dancer who then became a scientist and a Cambridge University researcher into the psychology of how people learn languages.

And he is a passionate advocate of dance as the panacea of so many of our problems and issues. From the opening sentence of the book we feel the good Doctor’s enthusiasm for dancing:

“We are born to dance. Dancing changes the way we feel and think and boosts our self-esteem…dancing brings together our body, our mind and ur hormones…”

Dr. Lovatt takes us through so many aspects of why we dance, and also, intriguingly, why some people don’t.

He covers music and rhythm and how dancing affects our emotions and, in a fascinating study of lap-dancers, how fertility and hormones are communicated through dancing. He analyses the effects of dancing on teenagers, on Parkinsons’ sufferers, on clinically depressed people – and, excitingly, everyone benefits from dancing.

Dr. Lovatt makes the most unlikely people dance – think uncooperative rugby players – and encourages the reader to set aside any inhibitions and just dance. I learned that there is actually a word for fear of dancing- it’s “chorophobia” – but this is a phobia from which the author clearly doesn’t suffer:

“I love dancing in unusual places and mixing it with activities that are not normally associated with it. This is why I always dance, and encourage the audience to dance, in my lectures…I remember the looks of astonishment on a room full of Russian bankers in Paris when I started to dance during a talk…”

What an image that conjures up.

I don’t need any encouragement to dance, even though I’m not the smoothest of dancers by any stretch of the imagination. What I lack in talent is offset (I like to think) by unbridled enthusiasm.

I usually warm up for my sessions with my personal trainer by dancing, sharing the often chaotic results on Instagram as #momdancing, and one of the joys of Dr. Lovatt’s book is that I now have expert opinion to back up my exercise of choice.

Thanks to this book, I also have a great, curated list of perfect dance music, much of which I have already incorporated into my morning warm-ups.

“Dr. Dance Top Ten Groovy Tunes”, I’m working my way through ya!

A fun, easy-to-read and fascinating book that combines film recommendations and dance steps, with psychology and behavioural studies.

Thoroughly enjoyed it.

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