“There are shortcuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them.” - Vicki Baum

Who said you had to stop dancing once you reached 50?

Dancing comes with many benefits throughout your life, which is why you should always dance when you can.

Let’s see why dancing is beneficial for your mental and physical health, which types of dancing you can do into your 50s, where you can get dance lessons for over-50s, and how to take part in dance sessions.

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Let's go

Why Keep Dancing into Your 50s

What if we told you that dancing comes with physical and mental health benefits?

Why should older people dance?
There are plenty of benefits to regularly dancing. (Source: Skitterphoto)

As you reach 50, the likelihood of back pain, joint pain, and weight gain increases. The solution to this is to keep moving. It’s recommended that you stay as active as you can throughout your life to avoid health problems and to stay in shape. Several studies have shown that dancing can help you fight off the effects of ageing.

Some of the benefits of dancing include:

  • Staying in shape: Improved cardiovascular fitness and memory. It’s a great way to age gracefully.
  • Staying in touch: Dancing can keep you socially active, too. You’ll meet new people to share your passion for dancing with.
  • Reducing the amount of pain medication taken: Dancing releases serotonin and endorphins, which can both reduce pain.
  • Increasing confidence and motivation.
  • Reducing stress, anxiety, and depression.
  • Sleeping better.
  • Improving mobility and balance and decreasing the chance of falls.
  • Improving your quality of life, especially for those with Parkinson’s, by improving cognitive processes, memory, and muscle tone.
  • Reinforcing your neural network and reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s.
  • Reducing the risk of obesity and related illnesses (heart attacks, strokes, joint pain, respiratory illness, cancer, etc.).
  • Strengthening muscles.

Don’t hesitate to learn more about the benefits of dancing in later life in our other articles. Any physical activity can be good for you, but you just need to make sure that it doesn't exacerbate any preexisting conditions. If you have any doubts about which activities you can do, speak to your doctor or a medical professional.

Ready to go?

Let’s see what kind of dancing you can do.

Find out more about why you should keep dancing as you get older

Which Kinds of Dancing Can Seniors Do?

Now that you’re convinced, you just need to start dancing. But before you do, you’re probably wondering which kinds of dancing you’d be able to do.

Which are the best kinds of dancing for the elderly?
While you mightn't be able to do every style of dancing, some certain styles and disciplines are perfect for older dancers. (Source: johnnyclezmayoma9)

In your 50s, you can do almost any kind of dancing you like. It’s recommended that you do at least 30 minutes of exercise each day and that includes dancing!

You’ll see that dancing is addictive. You’ll still want to do it even when you can’t. While any type of dancing is open to those in later life, some types are more recommended than others. Generally, different types of ballroom dancing and couples dances are recommended:

  • Viennese Waltz
  • Cuban or Puertorican Salsa
  • Cha-cha-cha
  • Bachata
  • Argentine Tango
  • Kizomba
  • Rumba
  • West Coast Swing
  • Foxtrot
  • Quickstep
  • Paso Doble
  • Mambo

Couples dancing should be adapted to the age of the participants. Don’t hesitate to take part in a taster session with a dance teacher just to see if it’s too quick or complicated for you. Certain types of dancing like jive, the Lindy Hop, or swing dancing might be too quick.

If you prefer dancing alone, then you may want to consider contemporary or modern dance. This type of dancing allows for more improvisation and you don’t necessarily need to be very flexible or quick to enjoy it. You can also choose ballet, modern jazz, tap, flamenco, or Bollywood classes.

We recommend avoiding types of dancing with sudden movements like hip-hop and ragga dancehall. Similarly, certain types of Eastern and African dancing may be too intense. Zumba isn’t recommended for those over 65, either. In any case, you can talk to your teacher or instructor to help you find the types of dancing that would be best for you.

While older adults will have more choices when it comes to the types of dancing they can do, senior citizens and the elderly, especially those in care homes, will have to limit their choices to dancing and activities that are low impact.

Find out more about the best types of dancing for older people

Where Can You Find Dance Lessons for Seniors?

You probably know what kind of dancing you’d like to do.

Where can you find classes for older people?

There are plenty of places to learn to dance. It just depends on the type of dancing you’d like to do. As we’ve seen, over-50s can do almost any type of dancing, as long as it’s adapted to their fitness.

What are dance lessons for seniors like?
Dance lessons for older dancers will be adapted to them. (Source: StockSnap)

Generally, dance lessons are divided into levels like beginner, intermediate, and advanced classes. For younger participants, these classes can also be divided into age groups to ensure that children get to practise with others their age.

After the age of 16, however, everyone is considered an adult in the world of dancing. In a lot of cases, it’s unlikely that there are classes for age groups beyond 50. You could easily find yourself in classes with dancers a lot younger than you. Of course, the average age of participants tends to vary according to the type of dancing you choose to do.

Here’s where you can find dance classes:

  • Superprof: With a private tutor, you can find lessons that are completely adapted to you. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with a tutor to discuss their lessons.
  • Dance schools: Make the most of open days and taster sessions to see what you’d like. You can enjoy group lessons.
  • Dance clubs, gyms, etc.: Much like dance schools, these lessons are often in groups.
  • Community centres, care homes, and assisted living residences.

To find out where dance lessons are happening in your local area, there are often resources available from the local government.

Find out more about where older people can get dance lessons

How to Participate in Balls for Older People

You should now have a better idea of why you should dance, what kind of dancing you’ll want to do, and where you can do it. You might want to dance for fun or to get better at it.

Are there dance events for older people?
In addition to classes, you can also attend events. (Source: fsightstudio)

With everything reopening, you can start participating in events. There are plenty of places offering events for those who like to dance.

You can meet people and show off your moves and there are events for all ages on different days and at different times. There are also events just for older participants.

Check with local associations and groups. These can take place in sports halls, dance halls, or even retirement homes. Your dance class or school will probably organise social events and evenings where you can show off your moves, too. These are often opportunities to dress up nice and have a good time.

Find out more about where older people can go dancing

If you still don’t feel like dancing, we don’t know what else to tell you!

If you're interested in learning to dance or getting dance lessons, consider looking for a private dance tutor on the Superprof website. There are tutors for all ages, levels, and budgets, so start looking today and find the perfect dance teacher for you.

There are different types of lessons offered and since each comes with a series of pros and cons, you'll want to think carefully about which is right for you, your level, your physical fitness, and your budget.

Face-to-face tutoring can be very effective as you have a dedicated teacher focusing completely on you and what you want to learn. They can tailor every session to you and what you want to learn. However, the extra time they spend planning outside of the lessons results in their tutorials being more costly. However, these are arguably the most cost-effective types of lessons out there.

Group tutorials are an excellent option for those on a tight budget or looking to meet other people. By sharing the cost of the tutor's time and expertise with a group of other students, you'll end up paying less per student per hour than you would with a one-on-one tutor. While lessons won't be fully tailored to you, you do have the benefit that the lessons are perfect for learning couples dances or group dances.

If you can't find any suitable or available private tutors in your local area, you can also broaden your search to include online private tutors. As long as you have a decent internet connection and a webcam, you can learn to dance from tutors all over the world. While we wouldn't recommend this for those with certain health conditions or a risk of falling, you can be taught more about dancing from an online tutor quite safely as long as you're supervised when you do try out your new moves.

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Joseph

Joseph is a French and Spanish to English translator, language enthusiast, and blogger.