Senior Moments: Dancing Alleviates Social Isolation Among Elderly

Fred Astaire Dance Studios recommends ballroom dancing to help seniors alleviate social isolation and loneliness.


Retirement is a welcome relief from deadlines, pressure, and stress. Putting an end to attending long meetings, making small talk with coworkers at the water cooler, and returning emails is a perk of retirement for many people. Retirement provides time in the day for long walks in the park, vacations, and quality time with family. But, the transition to retirement can be jarring for people accustomed to the hustle and bustle of the 9-to-5 grind. Lack of human connection and disruption of routine can lead to loneliness.


At least 25% of people over age 65 experience social isolation. And at least one-third of adults over age 45 feel lonely, according to a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report. Loneliness can be detrimental to your physical health. It increases the risk of dementia, depression, anxiety, and suicide. People who lack positive social relationships have a 29% increased risk of heart disease and a 32% higher risk of stroke, the Centers for Disease Control revealed.


Ballroom Dancing Offers Solace


Ballroom dancing gives seniors the chance to brush up on their dance moves and start an entertaining new hobby. As a bonus, ballroom dancing is a low-impact workout that burns calories and improves muscle strength. It can increase flexibility and improve mental health.


Ballroom dance classes at Fred Astaire Dance Studios are held in a fun, inviting atmosphere. We welcome people of all ages and at all stages of their ballroom dancing journey. Whether you want to dance competitively or simply spend an hour enjoying the music, our dance instructors can help.


If you think you’re too old to bust a move, think again. Take a look at these seniors in the Philippines participating in a tango competition.


Other Ways to Combat Loneliness


Dancing is not the only way to tackle loneliness. In addition to regular dance lessons, Fred Astaire recommends taking additional steps to help stave off loneliness.


  • Spend time volunteering to help your community. Not only is helping others rewarding, but it can also help you live longer. Volunteering helps lower your risk of mortality, according to a study published in the Journal of Health Psychology. There are numerous opportunities for seniors to help in the local community. Volunteer as a museum docent, or join a local service club, such as Kiwanis or Lion’s Club. Many churches offer volunteer options for the elderly outside of assistance at Sunday service.

Aging Next, a nonprofit in Claremont, California, relies on seniors helping seniors to keep loneliness at bay. Check out this innovative solution.


  • Get a pet. Caring for a pet has positive physical and mental benefits. Pets provide companionship and can lower your risk of heart attack and stroke by encouraging physical activity.


  • Take a class. Many local community colleges allow seniors to take classes for a discount. Taking a class will stimulate your brain and help you meet new people who share your interests.

Advances in technology are providing homebound seniors with the chance to connect virtually. Many church services offer online worship, and some community centers are getting on board with virtual gatherings. Check out this news story about a virtual senior center for the elderly in New York City.


  • Consider a roommate. While getting a roommate is not a decision to take lightly, having a companion can be a welcome relief for many people. A partner in crime can help divvy up household tasks and provide an ear when you need to talk.


Have Fun at FADS!

Learn how to waltz, samba, and swing at Fred Astaire Dance Studios to alleviate social isolation and combat loneliness. We also offer an Online Lesson Platform for seniors who prefer taking a lesson from the comfort of their homes. Seniors can stream a wide variety of lessons or live-stream a dance lesson with one of our certified dance instructors.

Contact your local Fred Astaire Dance Studios location to learn about our special introductory offer and to schedule your first lesson.