Dance


The Effectiveness of Dance Interventions to Improve Older Adults’ Health: A Systematic Literature Review

Phoebe Woei-Ni Hwang, MS; Kathryn L. Braun, DrPH

Summary:

Physical inactivity is common in individuals over the age of 60. This systemic review was looking at the benefits of physical health using dance. The compiled results of 18 studies suggest dance, regardless of style (ballroom, jazz, contemporary, cultural, pop) can significantly improve muscular strength and endurance, balance, flexibility, and other aspects of functional fitness in older adults. These results show dance as a promising method for improving older adults’ physical health as it might address the barriers associated with older adults being physically active.

Year study was published: 2015

Mean age of participants in study: 76 years

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Effects of a Salsa Dance Training on Balance and Strength Performance in Older Adults

Urs Granacher, Thomas Muehlbauer, Stephanie A. Bridenbaugh, Madeleine Wolf, Ralf Roth, Yves Gschwind, Irene Wolf, Rui Mata, Reto W. Kressig

Summary:

In this 8 week of progressive salsa dancing, researchers investigated the effects of salsa dancing on measures of static/dynamic postural control and leg extensor power in older adults. The researchers concluded this was a safe and feasible exercise program for older adults and there was a significant increase in stride velocity in the salsa group as compared to the control group; however, there were no significant changes in gait variability and muscle power of leg extensors. This was the first study that has investigated the impact of salsa dancing no intrinsic fall-risk factors (stride velocity and leg extensor power) in older adults.

Year study was published: 2012

Mean age of participants in study: 71.6 years

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Effects of Dance on Movement Control in Parkinson’s Disease: A Comparison of Argentine Tango and American Ballroom

Madeleine E. Hackney, BFA1 and Gammon M. Earhart, PhD, PT

Summary:

American smooth waltz and foxtrot as well as Argentine tango lead to significant benefits with respect to balance, motor ability, and locomotion in patients with idiopathic Parkinson’s Disease who took part in 20 hours of partnered dance instruction. These improvements were correlated to the use of external cues (music or use of partner) as well as specific movements incorporated in the particular form of dance. This study concluded that although foxtrot and tango both lead to improvements, tango was slightly more beneficial with TUG and gait (helping with freezing of gait). This was attributed to the strategies taught during tango (visual cues such as tapping partners foot or crossing one foot over the other, rhythmic rocking, backwards walking, etc.).

Year article was published: 2009

Mean age of participants in study: 67 years old

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Physical Benefits of Dancing for Healthy Older Adults: A Review

Justin W.L. Keogh, Andrew Kilding, Philippa Pidgeon, Linda Ashley, and Dawn Gillis

Summary:

Results of 18 studies in all concluded that dancing can significantly improve power, lower body muscle endurance, strength and flexibility, balance, agility, and gait in older adults. Although it was concluded with a lower level of evidence, it was also suggested that dancing might improve older adults’ lower body bone-mineral density content and muscle power, as well as reduce the prevalence of falls and cardiovascular health risks. There were no conclusions for different results based on type of dance or the difference in effectiveness of dance compared to other exercise modes.

Year study was published: 2009

Mean age of participants in study: 65 years old

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Investigating the Acute Effect of an Aerobic Dance Exercise Program on Neuro-Cognitive Function in the Elderly

Ken Kimura, Noriko Hozumi 

Summary: This study was comparing two types of aerobic dance exercises: a workout that consisted of several patterns of movement vs. a workout consisting of similar patterns of movement, but the patterns were joined to forma long choreographic routine/dance. The results of this study concluded that the executive cognitive network was facilitated in the choreographic routine workout due to the complex motor functions with a dual-task nature used in this workout group. The choreographic routine seems to improve actions that facilitate attentional control and even memory processes.

Year study was published: 2012

Mean age of participants in study: 70.7 years old

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Therapeutic Dancing for Parkinson’s Disease

Lorenna Pryscia Carvalho Aguiar*, Priscila Alves da Rocha, Meg Morris

Summary:

This systematic review found that therapeutic dancing in general was found to be beneficial for improving motor performance, mobility and balance in people with Parkinson’s Disease. Although this study didn’t find details related to specific forms of dance, they did find and overall short-term improvement in freezing of gait (FOG), walking performance, and wellbeing in some individuals. ‘

Year study was published: 2016

Mean age of participants in study: 66.5 years old

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Effects of Dancing on the Risk of Falling Related Factors of Healthy Older Adults: A Systematic Review

Esther Lopez Fernandez-Arguelles, Juan Rodriguez-Mansilla, Luis Espejo Antunez,  Elisa Maria Garrido-Ardila, Rafael Perez Munoz

Summary:

This article compiled data from 7 articles to determine the therapeutic effects of dancing as a physical exercise modality on balance, flexibility, gait, muscle strength, and physical performance in older adults. These studies did show positive effects on reducing the risk of falls in relation to improved balance, gait and dynamic mobility, strength and flexibility; however, they were unable to confirm that dance has significant benefits on the aforementioned factors based on scientific evidence due to problems with study designs.

Year study was published: 2015

Mean age of participants in study: 72 years old

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Dancing or Fitness Sport? The Effects of Two Training Programs on Hippocampal Plasticity and Balance Abilities in Healthy Seniors

Kathrin Rehfeld1, Patrick Müller1, Norman Aye, Marlen Schmicker,
Milos Dordevic1, Jörn Kaufmann, Anita Hökelmann and Notger G. Müller

Summary:

Dancing combines aerobic fitness, sensorimotor skills, and cognitive demands while maintaining a low risk of injury. In this study, an 18-month dancing intervention was compared to traditional health fitness training. Researchers were looking for both volume increases in the hippocampus, a region of the brain crucial for memory consolidation, learning and navigation in space, as well as improvements in balance. While both the dancing group and traditional fitness group both showed volume increases in the hippocampus, the dancing group showed increases in more areas of the hippocampus as well as significant increase in the balance score. From these results the researchers concluded dancing seems to be a promising intervention for both improving balance and hippocampal structure in the elderly.

Year study was published: 2017

Mean age of participants in study: 68 years old

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Ballroom Dance: Linking Serious Leisure to Successful Aging

by Regena G. Stevens-Ratchford

Summary:

This qualitative research design explored stories of ballroom dance participants to gain an understanding of the participants’ experiences and the relation between ballroom dance and successful aging using the Successful Aging Profile (SAP). The mean years of dancing experience was 38 years including engagement in waltz, fox trot, swing, tango, rumba, samba, salsa, and cha-cha. Researchers found that the sample they interviewed all reported positive successful aging including high function and positive well-being. The main aspect of ballroom dance that fosters successful aging is the inclusion of physical activity that these individuals are interested in.

Year study was published: 2016

Mean age of participants in study: 68 years old

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