Dancing has been a part of human history for thousands of years. Today, people in every culture and country can reap the health benefits of dancing. In fact, many incorporate dance into various celebrations and ceremonies.

Dance lifts the spirit while benefiting the body, and anyone can learn basic dance moves with some practice. And because dancing is not dependent upon the season, you can enjoy it all year round.

Book a Tour - Banner blog CTA 1

Benefits of Older People Dancing: More Than You Would Expect

Dance is a gentle and painless way to exercise, engaging the mind and body in an enjoyable way that does not feel like typical exercise. Also, it causes fewer injuries than other exercises because its varied movements are less repetitive.

There are several health benefits of dancing. Let’s explore some of the benefits of older people dancing:

1. Better Cardiovascular Health

Dance provides low-impact cardio at an activity level that produces many of the same heart and pulmonary benefits as traditional cardio exercises.

2. Greater Strength and Endurance

Dancing builds muscle strength in almost every part of the body because you are moving your body in a way that requires your muscles to resist your body weight. It increases your ability to go about daily tasks with less chance of injury or falls due to frailty. The more you move (dance), the more you are able to move (in general).

3. Improved Bone Health

Movement enhances bone strength because it increases bone mass.

4. Better Weight Management

Dancing provides a whole-body workout that results in calorie burn.

5. Increased Energy Levels

Dancing stimulates the production of feel-good hormones, such as serotonin and endorphins, making you more energized.

6. Improved Flexibility

Dance can help you avoid other injuries by keeping your joints loose and enabling more movement with less physical discomfort.

7. Enhanced Agility

As we age, we tend to lose the ability to move quickly and easily. Dancing helps you regain some of that agility.

8. Improved Balance

Dance requires you to use balance as you move, step, and turn. Your base of support changes with each movement, and your brain and body respond by enhancing your ability to adjust and maintain your balance.

9. Better Cognition

Research shows that 1-2 hours of dancing per week can improve cognitive skills. The memorization of steps and the focus required by older people dancing result in increased brain activity, promoting better cognitive function.

10. More Opportunities for Social Interaction

Dancing and listening to music are great social activities. Whether you take a structured dance class or simply dance at a party or celebration, you can meet people with similar interests in a non-competitive activity that is all about having fun.

11. Decreased Stress

Dance can help you take your mind off stressors and get a break from your worries. Additionally, music can soothe you, inspire you, and even bring up pleasant memories in a way nothing else can.

12. Boosted Confidence

Dance can improve your physical, mental, emotional, and social health. With all that going for you, you are bound to feel more confident about yourself and the world around you.

Getting Started

Before starting on your dancing journey, there are a few things to do:

  • Visit your physician
  • Do warmups and stretches before any physical activity
  • Eat well to fuel your body
  • Stay hydrated
  • Listen to your body and go at your own pace
  • Wear appropriate well-fitting shoes
  • Don’t be intimidated

Seniors can participate in many forms of dance. For example, line dancing is popular with seniors. Each line dance is choreographed to a specific song, and incorporates moves that become the dance routine. There are basic line dance steps used in many types of dances.

There are also dance fitness routines designed for seniors. There are even ballet exercises for seniors. Or maybe you could give tap dancing a try!

Whatever you decide, enjoy the benefits of dance and have fun!

Check out Bethesda’s Independent Living blog to find more activities that boost senior wellbeing.

This blog was originally written on October 27th, 2021 and has been updated since.

Book a Tour - Banner blog CTA 2

Bethesda has a 133-year tradition of providing excellent senior living options, including independent living, assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing. If you are considering independent living, we welcome you to tour one of our exceptional communities, including Bethesda Barclay House – Clayton, Bethesda Gardens – Kirkwood, Bethesda Orchard – Webster Groves, Bethesda Terrace – South County, Village North Retirement Community – Florissant, and The Oaks at Bethesda Villas – Kirkwood/Webster. Discover the level of care only a nonprofit staffed by highly-trained nurses, therapists, and aids can offer.