Dance Therapy: The Fun and Fabulous Way to Boost Your Brain

Unlocking the Power of Dance How Dance Therapy Enhances Cognitive Function in Adults Aged 55+

Dance therapy boosts cognitive function in those 55+.

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Image by Stocksy

December 11, 2023

We all know that exercising is beneficial for our bodies, but did you know that it can also work wonders for your mind? In fact, a recent study has discovered an incredibly fun and magical form of exercise that can have miraculous effects on the brain—especially for those who are 55+! Can you guess what it is?

Dance Therapy: The Mind-Blowing Benefits for Older Adults

New research published in the journal BMC Geriatrics has revealed that dance therapy significantly improves cognitive function in adults aged 55 and older. It’s time to put on your dancing shoes and get ready to boogie your way to a better brain!

In this study, researchers analyzed 10 different studies involving a total of 984 participants from around the world. These participants were adults over 55 years old who reported age-related mild cognitive impairment. The studies compared the effects of various dance styles, including ballroom, square dance, and aerobic dance, with control treatments like physical therapy and health education.

The dance therapy sessions lasted from 30 to 60 minutes and were held in groups, with a special focus on social participation. And guess what? All forms of dance therapy had a positive impact on memory, executive function, attention, language, and mental health. But here’s the kicker: those who danced their hearts out three or more times a week for over three months experienced the greatest positive effects. Talk about a dance party for your brain!

The Science Behind the Dancing Magic

You might be wondering why dance therapy is so darn good for the brain. Well, it turns out that dancing forces us to follow directions, move our bodies in new and exciting ways, and connect with others. Researchers believe that these factors contribute to the incredible benefits of dance therapy on cognitive function.

“Dance therapy induces and has long-term positive effects on neuroplasticity, such as learning and remembering complex motor movements, focusing attention on following instructions, executing complex movement patterns, integrating visual and rhythmic movements, and social cognition that links emotional expression between individuals in social interaction,” write the researchers.

Dancing Your Way to Cognitive Health

Research suggests that cognitive decline often begins between the ages of 55 and 70. So, the earlier you start incorporating interventions like dance therapy, the better. Although dance therapy can be a great preventive measure, it’s important to note that it’s not a treatment for diagnosed cognitive decline. Prevention is key!

Dance vs. Dance Therapy: What’s the Difference?

Is dance therapy just a fancy name for dancing for exercise? Not quite. The American Dance Therapy Association defines dance therapy as the “psychotherapeutic use of movement to promote emotional, social, cognitive, and physical integration of the individual, for the purpose of improving health and well-being.”

Dance therapy goes beyond just attending a dance class. Dance therapists offer personalized sessions tailored to the specific needs and capabilities of their clients. It’s a personal and community-based approach that takes mental health and longevity into consideration. Plus, dancing can also be a hobby, and we all know that hobbies provide well-known mental health support. So, dance your way to a healthier and happier you!

Shake Up Your Workout Routine

While dance therapy may not be available everywhere, there are other forms of exercise that can also boost brain health and longevity. Strength training and cardio workouts are excellent options too. So, don’t stick to just one routine—mix things up to enjoy a plethora of physical and mental benefits.

The Fabulous Takeaway

In conclusion, dance therapy is a delightful and effective way to enhance cognitive function in adults over 55. So, why not add dance therapy to your list of fabulously fun activities? Keep your body moving, your social life booming, and your brain thriving! And remember, it’s all about living life to the beat and strutting your stuff in style.

Tell us, dance enthusiasts, have you tried dance therapy before? Share your experiences and thoughts in the comments below! Let’s groove together!