Dancing Reduces Onset of Dementia, Elevates Mood

Fred Astaire Dance Studios encourages seniors to start dancing to stay in shape, have fun and help stave off Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan declared November National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month to help raise awareness for the most common form of dementia. Alzheimer’s Disease is a degenerative brain disease that impacts memory, thinking and behavior, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, a nonprofit leading the way to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, and there are approximately 5 million people living with Alzheimer’s in America, the Alzheimer’s Association reports. Alzheimer’s takes a toll on the families of people suffering from the disease. More than 16 million Americans provide unpaid care to loved ones with Alzheimer’s or other dementias.

While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s at this time, studies reveal dancing can help improve the quality of life of individuals suffering from dementia. A study from the New England Journal of Medicine revealed dancing can reduce the onset of dementia. The study determined people who participated in leisure activities, such as dancing, reading, board games and playing musical instruments, had a lower risk of dementia. The study followed approximately 470 individuals over a 21-year period. A smaller study revealed dancing can also improve the mood of individuals already suffering with dementia, according to the East London NHS Foundation Trust.

In addition to helping improve mental acumen, ballroom dancing combines physical activity with social interaction. Dancing provides a low-impact aerobic activity for the elderly that can help burn fat, lose weight and increase metabolism. Ballroom dance lessons start with a series of stretching exercises that will increase flexibility and prevent injury. Hitting the dance floor will also help participants build muscle strength and increase endurance.

Many elderly individuals spend a significant portion of their day alone. Nearly 16.6 million Americans age 60 and older live alone, according to Pew Research. Heading out to a dance class is a great way to interact safely with people who share your interests. If concerns over COVID-19 are keeping you from playing cards with friends, canceling pickleball games and limiting church activities, Fred Astaire Dance Studios has an option to keep you active. The chain of dance studios offers an Online Lesson Platform allowing you to live-stream dance lessons to your living room.

If you still need convincing, check out these seniors getting groovy on the dance floor.

In this clip, Jean Veloz, a famous swing dancer, performs at the age of 93 to “One Girl And Two Boys” live with the Tom Cunningham Orchestra at Glen Echo Park’s historic Spanish Ballroom in Glen Echo, Maryland.

“Britain’s Got Talent,” a television variety show, showcased an 85-year-old salsa dancer in 2019.

In this fun video, a group of elderly women took part in a flash mob. The ladies impressed the impromptu audience by showcasing their dance moves to drum and bass music.

Contact your local Fred Astaire Dance Studios location to schedule a lesson or log on to www.fredastaire.com to stream a dance lesson.