Poet Maya Angelou once said, “Everything in the universe has a rhythm, everything dances.” Perhaps that’s why dance for older adults is such a powerful medicine: studies show it can lower stress, build self-esteem, and is a proven antidote for depression.
Dance is an important element of the wellness program at St. Mark Village—and why we want to tell you what it can do for you!
Dance for older adults: movement and so much more
Haven’t dusted off your dancing shoes in years? Now just might be the time to tickle your toes again. Because there’s no denying it: dancing is good for you.
55+ Life Magazine cites research which indicates that older adults who dance on a regular basis benefit from greater flexibility, postural stability, balance, physical reaction time, and cognitive performance.
You can dance alone, with a partner, or in a class that’s live or online. The key is to move—and before you know it, you might just start feeling better physically and emotionally.
Dancing and depression
Along with all the physical benefits of dance for older adults, there’s another important reason to get up and dance. Dancing can make you less depressed.
The Mather Institute reports that new research published in the Journal of Applied Gerontology examined associations between dance classes and depressive symptoms in adults over age 60. Results showed that adults who participated in a multi-week dance program had significantly fewer depressive symptoms at the end of the study than those who did not participate.
How does dance for older adults help ease depression?
- Dancing releases endorphins, which gives you a mood boost before and after. Music also helps release dopamine.
- Dancing can bring you into the present moment, grounding you and freeing your from distressing thoughts which play over and over in one’s mind.
- Dancing can enhance your sense of self-esteem.
- Dancing reduces stress and increases mindfulness.
- Dancing can help you feel connected with others, especially in a dance class.
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What else can dance do for you?
- Dancing is exercise. Instead of running or bicycling, try dancing instead. You will work your heart, lungs, and muscles, and burn lots of calories.
- Dancing helps you meet people. As the song says, what good is sitting alone in your room? Come hear the music play! Dancing brings people together and offers a relaxed way to have fun. You’ll make new friends right away.
- Dancing improves self-esteem. When you’re dancing, whether with another person, in a group, or even alone in the kitchen with the radio on, you are likely to feel good about yourself. The more you move, the more confident you feel.
- Dancing can be done with a walker or in a chair. You can improve your cardio health, balance, and stamina, and strengthen your bones.
- Dancing loosens your joints and helps improve flexibility. Dance movements help you maintain a normal range of motion, which in turn reduces stiffness. It also can mean an improvement in bone density over a period of time.
Line dancing at St. Mark Village could make a difference in your life
At St. Mark Village, our Wellness Matters program lets our residents create and implement customized wellness plans to achieve their wellness goals. One element of the program is our very popular line dancing class, which so many of our residents are enjoying.
In this friendly and fun class, men and women get a chance to laugh and learn as they line dance to all kinds of music. They even perform together occasionally for others in the community. No need to worry if you use a walker…we’ll show you how to dance with your walker and have a blast!
Whether it’s focus on total wellness that includes dance for older adults, socializing with new friends, nutritious and delicious cuisine, or just our carefree lifestyle, at St. Mark Village, you’ll benefit from all the elements of healthy aging, as well as seamless access to future care options. We’d love to tell you more.