Learning some new moves is more than just a fun way to exercise. A growing body of evidence shows that learning to dance improves the mental health of Senior Citizens. For example, joining a dance class alleviates loneliness. Overall, dancing lifts spirits and enhances the quality of life.
Does dance improve the mental health of Senior Citizens?
Yes! Learning to dance activates the brain because you need to learn new steps. In addition, coordinated body movements support cognitive function. Plus, dance therapy is an excellent complementary treatment for adults with depression and anxiety.
3 Ways Dance Improves the Mental Health of Senior Citizens
1. Dance Alleviates Loneliness
Participating in dance classes or clubs gives Senior Citizens a sense of belonging, which reduces loneliness and social isolation. While many older adults dance for their own enjoyment and exercise, it can also create a feeling of social acceptance. People who feel connected with a group are more motivated to continue and come back to the next class. Maintaining group involvement contributes to reduced feelings of loneliness.
2. Dance Improves Depression Symptoms.
The physical, aerobic movements of a Zumba class produce a feel-good chemical in the brain called endorphins that counteract depression. Likewise, sustained low-intensity exercise, like ballroom dancing, supports cell growth in the brain, which helps alleviate depression symptoms. A meta-analysis from 2021 suggests that dancing for at least 150 minutes each week is an effective depression intervention for Senior Citizens.
3. Dance Reduces Anxiety
Studies show participating in group dance programs can reduce temporary anxiety. For many people, learning a new dance gives them a sense of accomplishment and boosts confidence. In addition, dancing teaches emotional expression through movement. As a result, dancers can release stress and anxiety through the flow of the dance.
Senior Dance in Hunterdon County
Getting involved with local dance groups is a fabulous way for older adults to spend time within the community while improving their physical and mental health. Hunterdon County Senior Center offers many dance classes for older adults. For example, line dancing is every Wednesday from 10:00 to 11:00 am at the Senior Center. Zumba Gold meets virtually on Thursdays from 10:30 to 11:30 am. Visit their website for more information.
In-home Senior Care
At Anita’s Angels, Inc., we know that dance improves the mental health of Senior Citizens. Our CHHHAs help Senior Citizens get up and move! For example, while we are there with your loved ones, we can help provide transportation to dance classes. Give us a call at 908-788-9390.