NEWS & UPDATES
Dancing & Music Can Cure Things Medications Will Never
– William Blanco May
“Why Ballroom Dancing is Good for You: Mentally and Physically”
At a weekly dance in the local senior citizen’s center, I was dancing with Jenny when she tripped and fell to the floor, landing softly on her behind and then on her back and pulling me down on top of her. As I helped her up, I asked if she was okay. “I know one thing for sure,” Jenny said. “We fell for each other.”
The research involved 469 men and women aged 75 and older, and the time span of 21 years that began in 1980. All participants were screened at the start to ensure that they were free of dementia. The researchers studied lifestyle of each participant to see if he or she engaged in some of the 6 cognitive activities (reading, writing, doing crossword puzzles, playing musical instruments,taking part in group discussion, and playing board games) and 11 physical activities (dancing, numerous sports, housework, and baby-sitting).
They followed the activities of each for an average of 5.1 years. Among the participants were 130 who danced frequently (3 or 4 times a week), 83 who swam frequently, 26 who bicycled frequently, and 19 who played games frequently.
In the period of study, 124 participants developed dementia: 61 Alzheimer’s disease, 30 vascular dementia, 25 mixed dementia, and 8 other forms of dementia.
The results revealed that frequent cognitive activities reduced the risk of dementia.
There was no big surprise there, for other earlier studies indicated that much. The most surprising result was that, of all the physical activities, dancing was the only activity that reduced the risk of dementia.
A Very Quick History of Ballroom Dancing
Ballroom dancing has been bringing people together for centuries. What I always wondered was, “How did it all get started”? So to the internet I went in search of the holy grail of dance. “What did you find?”, you may ask.