Senior Moments: Dancing Improves Mental Health

Learning new moves on the dance floor boosts the mental health of seniors as they age by helping them stay active in a fun, social setting.

In this edition of “Senior Moments,” Fred Astaire Dance Studios calls attention to the importance of mental well-being in the senior community. Getting older can be tough. In addition to all the associated aches and pains, it can be lonely and leave people feeling isolated. Retirement gives people the time to travel and relax, but it requires forming a new routine and finding new pastimes to stay busy. Approximately 20% of people over the age of 55 suffer from some form of mental health issue, including anxiety and mood disorders. While only 7.7% of people ages 50 and older suffer from depression, older men have the highest rate of suicide of any age group, according to the Centers for Disease Control.


Benefits of Exercise for Seniors


Having adequate mental and social support can help stave off mental health issues for people in their twilight years. Ensuring your loved ones are socially active and physically fit is key to their overall health and mental well-being.

One way to stay healthy is to incorporate exercise. Exercise releases natural endorphins, which help elevate mood and increase energy. Staying active will help ensure mobility doesn’t decline and can help prevent bone loss. The CDC recommends adults over the age of 65 exercise for 30 minutes five times per week. It’s also a good idea to do activities to improve muscle strength at least two times a week.


Learn to Dance at FADS


Ballroom dancing is a low-impact workout that helps increase flexibility, improve muscle strength, and ramps up brain power. Learning ballroom dance steps improves mental acuity and will go a long way to helping improve your mental health by giving you purpose and inspiration.

Fred Astaire Dance Studios offers group and private dance lessons for both singles and couples. Our dance instructors can help people brush up on their dance schools or introduce them to tango, cha-cha, and swing. To help practice moves, we host fun dance parties to prepare you for your next big event or a night out on the town. We work with students of all ages and abilities, and our friendly and inspirational atmosphere will help make your ballroom dance journey a reality.


Look at how these seniors shine on the dance floor.


In this clip, Sam West and Ellen Taylor took top prize at the 2017 Grand National Dance competition with their swing dance moves to the song “Gonna Move Me Across the River.”

Take a look at this man putting on a show at the Memphis Bop Club Jam session this summer in Tennessee. His fancy footwork and multiple dance partners are sure to impress.

Watch this video for Senior Living Magazine detailing the health benefits and joy of ballroom dancing.


Signs of a Problem


Adjusting to life changes, the death of a loved one, and declining physical abilities can be tricky for seniors. It’s crucial for caregivers to pay special attention to signs a senior may be struggling. The National Institute of Mental Health suggests staying on the lookout for the warning signs of a problem. Below are a few signs to help gauge the mental health of your aging loved one.

● Insomnia or excessive sleep

● Increase in anger or aggression

● Compulsive behavior

● Sadness

● Lack of concentration

● Change in appetite

If your loved one shows signs of depression, make sure they stay active and get the support they need to live long, healthy, and happy lives.


Schedule a Dance Lesson Today!


It’s never too late to learn a new hobby. If you are ready to join in the fun and take a twirl around the dance floor, contact your local Fred Astaire Dan