News of the Week: Tapping and Mental Health

Since the pandemic has caused us all to experience an increased amount of stress, depression and isolation being cognizant of our psychological health has become essential. For organizations like Mental Health America https://www.mhanational.org it’s vital enough to cause them to promote May as Mental Health Awareness Month with plenty of advertising and resources.

“Created in 1949, its goal is to let the public know that no matter what race, age or sex you are it’s okay to seek professional help and do something to make yourself feel better whenever you need to.”

On your own that could be something as relaxing as reading a good book, writing or drawing in a journal or practicing yoga to your favorite music.

Tap Dancing Can Be Healing Too:

While I definitely believe and regularly lose myself in literature, write and draw in a journal, and relax with yoga and other exercises my real go-to healer is tap dancing. Joining May, in celebration, is another occasion that has special significance for lovers and dancers of tap-May 25, National Tap Dance Day. Due to the way my life has personally been turned upside down, in addition to the pandemic, I believe the art form ties in seamlessly with Mental Health Awareness Month because it encourages physical exercise and opens you up to positive feelings.

“On November 8, 1989 President George H. W. Bush signed into American Law National Tap Dance Day on the famous tapper Bojangles’ birthday. Now it’s celebrated worldwide.”

History of Tap:

To give you a little history of tap…”It originated in the United States in the early 19th century through a combination of African and Irish American dance styles. Characterized by various foot movements known as steps, flaps and shuffles it’s both extremely enjoyable to watch and perform.”

I’ve been tapping for over 10 years now, and besides being one of my security blankets whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed, it’s also a wonderful cardiovascular workout and inexpensive to do. All you really need to do it is a pair of tap shoes, a portable wooden board and comfy dance gear.

Finally, the best thing about tap is almost anyone can do it and learn something about themselves and others from this amazing dance.

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