DURBAN 280407: IT WAS a festival of energy and grace as lithe bodies competed in various styles of dance from ballroom to Latin at the Freedom Day Challenge Dance Competition. More than 100 couples took part in the Ballroom and Latin Dancing Challenge at the Howard College Campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal yesterday.The championship was the first collaboration between the South African Amateur Dancesport Association and the African Dance Academy. Showing off their moves in front of an excited crowd were Nicole Bell and Alano Gouveia Picture: JACQUES NAUDE

London - Can your actions make you happy? It seems so.

Dr Peter Lovatt, from the University of Hertfordshire in the UK, ran an experiment to examine the effects of dance on mood.

Each week, he taught volunteers a new type of dance, then asked them to rate their mood.

From salsa to swing, he found that everyone’s mood lifted. The results revealed that behaving as if they were happy made the participants feel better.

Try your own happiness experiment. First, take a few moments to list 10 activities that make you feel good. Here are a few questions to help you put your list together.

Do you enjoy spending time with others? Which of your friends are the most fun to be around? What activities do you enjoy? Which sports do you love? If you had a free evening, would you go to the cinema, the theatre or stay in with a book?

Do you enjoy helping other people? Perhaps working for a local non-profit organisation?

Do you like seeing the funny side of whatever happens to you? Do you enjoy playing silly games? Are there particular people or situations that seem to encourage this behaviour?

Write down your 10 activities on paper, then screw each of the pieces into a ball and put them into a box. At the start of each week, randomly select one of the pieces of paper and carry out the activity within the next seven days. – Daily Mail