Why Sharing Dance for Seniors?

I do a lot of exercise but I feel joy, inspiration and elation when I leave my dance class.

— Sandra, Participant of Sharing Dance with People with Parkinson’s program

Why Dance for Seniors?

Dance is not just for the young, it can and should be enjoyed throughout one’s life! Many of the benefits of dance for children and youth are also seen in adults and seniors who dance regularly.

Physical benefits of dancing in older adulthood may include (Keogh et al., 2009):

  • Improved aerobic power
  • Increased muscle endurance
  • More strength
  • Greater flexibility
  • Improved balance and gait
  • Increased bone-mineral content
  • Muscle power
  • Reduced risks of falls
  • Reduced cardiovascular health risks

A Saint Louis University (SLU) study found that participants with an average age of 80 who were part of a low-impact dance program reduced their use of pain medicine by 39%, while those who didn't dance said they increased their pain medication by 21% (Krampe et al, 2014).

Dance may also be emotionally and socially beneficial for older adults by helping to bring people out of isolation and enjoying a socially engaging activity.

Know the Facts

Dancing integrates several brain functions at once — kinesthetic, rational, musical, and emotional — further increasing your neural connectivity, and frequent dancing provides a 76% reduced risk of dementia; the greatest risk reduction of any activity studied, cognitive or physical!

Stanford Dance