Dance Research

Study: Dancing boosts fitness and mood of older adults

“The physical benefits of dance on aging bodies is well-established, but this study also noted the joy and social connections that formed in just 10 weekly dance classes. Researchers suggest that such dance classes be encouraged more often as exercise options for older and younger adults, given the positive impacts on energy, flexibility, fitness and mental outlook.”

Should seniors be dancing instead of exercising?  

“It has been proven that dancing can help you age well. The combination of movement, time spent with others and rhythmic music is good for your health. Besides making you feel good about yourself, it’s fun!”

White Matter Integrity Declined Over 6-Months, but Dance Intervention Improved Integrity of the Fornix of Older Adults

“Our findings suggest that combining physical, cognitive, and social engagement (dance) may help maintain or improve white matter health and more physically active lifestyle is associated with slower white matter decline.”

Healthline- 8 Benefits of Dance

“Whether you’re 80 years young or 8 years old, engaging in physical activities that involve dance changes you. From better physical and mental health to a boost in emotional and social well-being, moving your body to the sound of music can transform your life.”

Let’s get Radically Creative about Public Health and the Future

“Narrative medicine is already a growing part of health care. Art, music, and dance therapies already have a current place in treatment. Some have argued that art (homo aestheticus) and narrative (homo narrans) are a fundamental part of human evolution. Studies of the brain, particularly neuroimaging, suggest that experiencing and participating in the arts creates changes in the brain (not unexpectedly).”

National Institute on Aging: Participating in the arts creates paths to healthy aging

“Research on music, theater, dance, creative writing, and other participatory arts shows promise for improving older adults’ quality of life and well-being, from better cognitive function, memory, and self-esteem to reduced stress and increased social interaction.”

International Dance Day 2019: Amazing things happen to the body and brain when we dance

1) Dancing enhances neuroplasticity of the brain
2) Dance is therapeutic
3) Dance helps prevent dizziness

Study shows tai chi and dance benefits the brain in older adults

“We found out that mind-body exercises, especially tai chi and dance, are beneficial for improving global cognition, cognitive flexibility, working memory, verbal fluency, and learning in cognitively intact or impaired older adults.”

Walk, Dance, Clean: Even a Little Activity Helps you Live Longer

“Americans who got in just 10 to 59 minutes of moderate physical activity every week had an 18 percent lower risk of death from any cause, compared with couch potatoes, the researchers found.”

Science Confirms: Dancing Makes You Happy

“A study at Deakin University revealed that dance has a very positive effect on our daily lives. These Australian researchers interviewed 1,000 people and found that those who were dancing often not only reported feeling happier, but also more satisfied with their lives, especially in relationships, health, and the goals achieved over the years.”

Effects of dance on cognitive function among older adults: a protocol for systematic review and meta

“Dance may be an effective intervention that synergistically improves both cognitive and physical functions. Dance consists of complex elements, such as synchronization of movement to music, memorization of step sequence, and social interaction which, on its own, is recognized as having a beneficial effect on cognition. It requires involvements of several cognitive and physical functions through perception, execution, memory, and motor skills.”

See you at the barre: the rise of Ballet fitness

“Adult ballet is having something of a resurgence.”

Targeted ballet program mitigates ataxia and improves balance in females with mild-to-moderate multiple sclerosis

This study adds to current research by providing support for targeted ballet program intervention targeting ataxia and balance in MS. The ballet program was well tolerated, improved balance, and mitigated ataxia. 

Dance your way to a healthier aging brain

“Dance classes may beat traditional exercise when it comes to improving older adults’ balance — and it might enhance brain areas related to memory and learning along the way.”

Dance helping stroke patients in innovative arts and health scheme

“An innovative project using dance to build confidence, co-ordination and capability among survivors of stroke is improving the quality of life for those taking part.”

Researchers see potential role for dance in treating neurodegenerative disorders

“A 2003 study in the New England Journal of Medicine by researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine showed that dance can decidedly improve brain health.

Preventing Loss of Independence through Exercise (PLIÉ): A Pilot Clinical Trial in Older Adults with Dementia

Can ballet ease Parkinson’s symptoms? 

The healing powers of dance

“Some of the physical effects are obvious: dance can – among other things — boost cardiovascular health and bone strength (because it’s weight-bearing exercise), as well as improve balance and flexibility.”

Science explains why dancing is the fast way to make yourself happier

Dance has proven to aid those with Parkinson’s disease as well: In a ten-week dance program those with the movement disorder experienced an overall reduction in mood disturbance and a reduction in anger. Those who indicated depression before the study experienced a decrease in fatigue.”

“Researchers have consistently found that besides having better motor skills and balance, senior citizen dancers outdo non-dancers in regards to cognitive performance.” 

Leisure activities and the risk of Dementia in the elderly

“Dancing was the only physical activity that proved to be associated with a lower risk of dementia, and had the greatest influence on mental activity compared to any of the other activities. You can think of dancing as a super-battery for your brain — it integrates kinesthetic, rational, musical, and emotional brain functions all at once, which increase your neural connectivity.”

The benefits of dance for senior citizens

“A study conducted at St. Louis University used dance therapy intervention to reduce hip or knee pain and improve mobility in residents of a senior living Results showed a positive relationship between weekly dance classes and mobility strength.

“Individuals in the group who completed the dance program reported a 39 percent reduction in their need for pain medication.”

Effect of the Exercise Dance for Seniors (EXDASE) Program on lower-body functioning among institutionalized older adults 

Dance-based aerobic exercise may improve indices of falling risk in older women 

Physical Benefits of Dancing for Healthy Older Adults: A Review

“Dancing may be less threatening to many older adults than other exercise modes, given that many older individuals will have had positive experiences of dance when they were younger (Dunlap & Barry, 1999; Lima & Vieira, 2007).”

“Kim et al. (2003) also found that a 12-week dance program resulted in significant reductions in total cardiovascular health risk, as well as cholesterol and triglyceride levels, of the older adults.”

”Dance has been shown to have considerable physical benefits for middle-aged and older adults with arthritis, osteoporosis, and neurological conditions.”

White Matter Integrity Declined Over 6-Months, but Dance Intervention Improved Integrity of the Fornix of Older Adults

“findings suggest that combining physical, cognitive, and social engagement (dance) may help maintain or improve WM health and more physically active lifestyle is associated with slower WM decline.”

The Impact of Dance Interventions on Mood and Depression in Older Adults

“Since dance is an activity-based intervention that engages participants physically, cognitively, socially and emotionally, it may be particularly well suited for addressing a variety of health conditions, including depression (Haboush, Floyd, Caron, LaSota & Alvarez, 2006).”

Why do we like to dance– And move to the beat?

“Increasing evidence suggests that sensory experiences are also motor experiences. Music and dance may just be particularly pleasurable activators of these sensory and motor circuits.”

Dancing and the Brain

“Dance, in fact, has such beneficial effects on the brain that it is now being used to treat people with Parkinson’s disease, a progressive neurological movement disorder.”

“While some imaging studies have shown which regions of the brain are activated by dance, others have explored how the physical and expressive elements of dance alter brain function. For example, much of the research on the benefits of the physical activity associated with dance links with those gained from physical exercise, benefits that range from memory improvement to strengthened neuronal connections.”

Dancing can reverse the signs of aging in the brain

“In this study, we show that two different types of physical exercise (dancing and endurance training) both increase the area of the brain that declines with age. In comparison, it was only dancing that lead to noticeable behavioral changes in terms of improved balance.” -Dr Kathrin Rehfeld, lead author of the study, based at the German center for Neurodegenerative Diseases.

Dancing may help to combat brain aging