The Power of Highland Dance

Did you know that our body language affects how we feel? Research has shown that posing in expansive postures for as little as two minutes can make us feel and perform better. It makes us feel more powerful, confident, assertive, less stressed and anxious, happier and more optimistic. Specific experiments have shown that holding “power poses” give the following benefits:

Image from Amy Cuddy’s book “Presence - Bringing your Boldest Self to your Biggest Challenges”

Image from Amy Cuddy’s book “Presence - Bringing your Boldest Self to your Biggest Challenges”

  • lowers the stress hormone cortisol and increases testosterone

  • increases our agility in abstract thinking

  • makes it easier to retrieve and focus on positive memories

  • makes us more likely to assert ourselves, to identify and seize opportunities, take risks and persist

  • toughens us to physical pain

  • elevates non-verbal presence, improving our performance in stressful situations like interviews

The crazy news is that you don’t even have to physically do the postures - you can IMAGINE them and experience the same benefits!

Now take a look at the basic positions and movements of Highland Dance. They are all Power Poses! With thousands of hours of power posing/dancing (often over swords!) under their belts, is it any wonder highland dancers go on to be the top of their professional fields?! Coincidence? We don’t think so!! The next time you are facing a challenging or stressful situation - try standing in first position or dancing a Highland Fling!

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Learn more about this fascinating research by watching Amy Cuddy’s viral TED Talk or reading her book “Presence - Bringing your Boldest Self to your Biggest Challenges”