Dancing Offers Hope for Parkinson’s Patients

Parkinson’s and dance

A new study confirms that dancing can slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease in patients with mild to moderate symptoms.


Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disease affecting the nervous system. It impacts dopamine neurons, causing tremors, limb rigidity, walking, and balance problems. People with Parkinson’s disease often have non-motor problems, such as depression, apathy, and sleep issues.


Published in Brain Sciences last summer, the study examined the effects of dancing on people with Parkinson’s disease. The three-year study revealed that participants who attended a dance class for one hour and 15 minutes each week saw a reduction in daily motor issues related to balance and speech. The study, which followed 16 people with Parkinson’s disease, was conducted by experts at York University in Toronto.


All of the participants in the study attended a weekly Dance for Parkinson’s Disease class. Dance for PD was developed in 2001 as part of a collaboration between the Mark Morris Dance Group and the Brooklyn Parkinson Group in New York. The program integrates movements from modern, ballet, tap, folkloric, traditional, and social dancing. It is designed to engage both the mind and body to create a fun, social atmosphere for creative expression. Dance for PD classes are offered in more than 300 communities and 25 countries. The program also offers an at-home instructional series and live-streaming options.


Take a look at a Dance for PD class in action.


Dance Lessons at FADS Heal Body and Soul

In addition to helping stem some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, ballroom dancing lessons at Fred Astaire Dance Studios can improve cardiovascular fitness and flexibility. A ballroom dancing lesson can burn between 200 to 400 calories in just 30 minutes. Ballroom dancing can also decrease blood pressure, lower cholesterol, strengthen bones, reduce the risk of obesity, and promote increased lung capacity.


Ballroom dancing is also a proven method to improve mental health. The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease often prompt patients to stay home because they feel uncomfortable in public, leading to depression and loneliness. Learning to salsa, swing, and foxtrot in a fun, social atmosphere can alleviate stress and boost mood. Fred Astaire Dance Studios offers in-person private and group dance lessons at its local studios. Our unique dance curriculum includes a Trophy System, which offers an easy way for you to track your progress while having fun on the dance floor.


If you think you may be too old to tackle ballroom dancing, look at this couple’s impressive moves to “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars.


Ballroom dancing can help people stay active as they age. Check out these seniors at a dance competition at Disney World in Paris.


Schedule a Dance Lesson at FADS

It’s never too late to learn to dance. Improve your physical and mental health by calling your local Fred Astaire Dance Studios location to schedule a dance lesson.