Nearly 5.4 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. This November, Fred Astaire Dance Studios (FADS) wants you to Dance to Defeat Dementia in support of Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness and Caregivers Month. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia and primarily affects memory, thought and language. Dementia is the umbrella term used to describe symptoms of memory loss, difficulty forming coherent thoughts and trouble performing daily tasks.
Fortunately, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine has shown that regular ballroom dancing can lower seniors’ risk of dementia by an incredible 76 percent. Dancing is not just a way to stay physically fit; it exercises your mind and can improve your quality of life drastically. FADS is committed to helping fight against Alzheimer’s disease through the art of ballroom dancing.
In fact, in a recent news segment on KRIV in Houston, Texas, a reporter visited her local Fred Astaire Dance Studios in Pearland, Texas, to get a glimpse into how FADS can help make a positive impact on the local community. In this news story, the reporter interviewed ballroom dancers and went into more detail on the study conducted by the New England Journal of Medicine. Dancing isn’t just physical exercise; it works your mind, too!
Dance Exercises Your Memory
Just like other parts of your body, the more you exercise your brain, the better shape it will stay in. In ballroom dancing, you have to remember steps, techniques and cues from your partner to perform the dance successfully. That takes some hard work! Not to mention, by taking classes you are learning something new. Challenging your mind to take on new tasks helps stimulate and strengthen your brain.
Why Ballroom Dancing?
Ballroom dancing specifically is beneficial in fighting against dementia. Why? Unlike in a standard dance routine, ballroom dancing is often about listening to your partner and making split-second decisions to execute a certain dance move. That improvisation can form new neural pathways, boosting your memory. Those new neural pathways are what can help stave off dementia. In addition, ballroom dancing utilizes multiple brain functions simultaneously – an even bigger challenge. Just by attending a FADS class, you’ll use your kinesthetic, emotional, rational and musical processes all at the same time. That’s a lot of brain activity!
Connect with New People
Finally, ballroom dance classes are a great way to shake up your routine and meet new people! By switching partners, you’ll keep your brain engaged as you learn and adapt to your new partner’s dance style. Fred Astaire Dance Studios is a great place to meet new people and exercise both your body and mind while having fun.
How to Get Involved
Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating illness, and Fred Astaire Dance Studios is committed to promoting awareness and education. If you want to join us in promoting purple, there are plenty of ways to get involved. First, wear purple and spread awareness. Talk with friends, family and co-workers about dementia and Alzheimer’s. You can even change your social media profiles and banners to purple to promote awareness online as well. Alz.org/co has great resources if you want to learn more.
If you or a loved one are experiencing memory loss, trouble planning, difficulty problem solving, or new speech problems, it could be an early indicator of Alzheimer’s. If you recognize these symptoms, it’s a good idea to talk with your doctor to determine the best next steps for you or your family member.
To join in the fight against Alzheimer’s, find a dance studio near you at FredAstaire.com.