Community Out Reach Dance ProgramsCelebrating Life Through All The Years
“Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.”
“We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.”
“Dance is the hidden language of the soul”
1. Dance helps to improve balance.
This benefit is evident in a study of a group of social dancers from the Bronx, who were an average age of 80 years old. These seniors danced an average of four days a month and had been dancing for an average of 30 years. When compared with a control group of non-dancing seniors, the dancers weren’t stronger than the non-dancers, but they had better balance and “longer steps and strides reflecting a better walking pattern.” This is what helps to prevent falls. Dance is also linked to improved “balance confidence,” when seniors are less afraid of falling and more confident in their stability.
2. Dance improves strength and gait.
One study found that a group of senior citizens who participated twice a week, for ten weeks, in an Argentine tango class had increased lower body strength and a longer, stronger walking stride compared to a similar group who exercised by walking for the same amount of time. Studies have found that seniors who have previously fallen or who are afraid of falling can gain confidence and strength through dance.
3. Dance helps improve cognitive abilities.
In a group of older dancers studied in Sweden in 2010, seniors who had danced on an amateur level for an average of 16 years were found to have better “reaction time, motor behavior and cognitive performance.” Dance often requires memorizing routines and movements. When done over and over, for many years, these movements can become second-nature and a part of our everyday movement, even when we’re not dancing.
4. Dancing has social benefits.
Participants in dance programs find it to be a fun experience. Because of this, seniors are less likely to drop out and more likely to reap the benefits of the program than they would with an ordinary exercise program. Dance can also help prevent loneliness and isolation among seniors.