According to a U.S. based study (Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York), regular social dancing could help prevent serious mental health disorders such as dementia, memory loss and Alzheimer's. This 21-year long study was conducted among a group of senior citizens, aged 75 years and older.
Here are some of the biggest advantages of ballroom dancing for older, retired people:
· Helps the mind stay active
Ballroom dancing is among the most efficient and romantic ways of keeping your brain active and sharp. You know that the music won’t stop for you to take a decision regarding your next move. This means you will slowly get trained to take rapid fire decisions (in split seconds!). In other words, ballroom dancing may help increase your synapses and neurological pathways and this will eventually enhance your overall levels of awareness and intelligence.
· Multiple benefits for the physical body
Ballroom dancing is an excellent mind-body workout. Besides boosting mental health, it is has excellent benefits for older people’s physical health as well. Some of them include the following:
· Improved posture
· Increased stamina
· Increased bone density
· Reduced risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis
· Reduced tension and stress
Besides the above mentioned physical improvements, the elderly in the New York based study also experienced improved overall balance. They felt less scared of potential falls were more confident on the dance floor as well as in other high-traffic areas.
· Improvement in feelings of loneliness, anxiety and depression
Retired people often experience feelings of loneliness and depression. Ballroom dancing is a moderately intense and extremely fun activity that brings them into contact with other people. Most elderly people report feeling “light-hearted” at the end of a ballroom dancing class. It is a brilliant opportunity for them to get away from the dull environment of their home and socialize with new people. Elderly people often end up making new friends since ballroom dancing requires them to partner up with someone and this ultimately helps minimize feelings of depression and isolation.
There are multiple styles of ballroom dancing that elderly people can decide to learn-salsa, waltz, tango, jive, swing and the list is endless! But it is best to consult for all older people to consult their physician and find out which activity level is most suitable for them.