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


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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Ballroom Dance: Linking Serious Leisure to Successful Aging

by Regena G. Stevens-Ratchford


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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