“Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.” - Voltaire
You can learn to dance in dance schools, with private tutors, or in dance lessons organised by associations, clubs, or local governments.
Are you wondering if you’re too old to dance?
You’re never too old to dance! If anything, it’s recommended that you never stop dancing, especially when you reach your 50s. Here’s why...
Fight the Effects of Ageing
Contemporary dance, ballet, jazz, bachata, etc. Each type of dancing comes with benefits for fighting the effects of ageing. Regularly dancing can help you stay in shape.
You can also improve your cardiovascular health and keep your brain active, which can improve memory as you learn routines and steps. Studies have shown that regular exercise, including a dance class, can improve the health of your heart and your cognitive abilities.
You don’t have to take part in Strictly, but a couple of dance classes each week will help keep you young.
Dancing is good for your mental health, too. You’ll see that dancing is addictive. Dancing will only make you want to dance more and smile. Dancing is a great way to get out of your shell.
It’s also a great way to get out of the house and avoid isolation and the negatives that come with staying in all the time. You’re not on your own. At the very least, you’ll be with your teacher, but, more often than not, you’ll be with the other members of the class and people to hang out with both during and after your dance class.
Dance classes are a great opportunity to make new friends who share your passion for dancing. While older adults may still maintain an active social life, senior citizens and the elderly, especially those in an assisted living residence or a care home, may not get out to see other people.
Still not sure about dancing?
We’ve got plenty more reasons to convince you.
Reduce the Need for Medication
Dancing can make you feel better overall. Not only is moving good for your body and staying in shape, but it’s also good for your brain and your mental health. Movement and exercise can increase the levels of serotonin and endorphins. You’ll feel better, be more focused, and feel less pain.
According to a study by Saint Louis University, two weekly dance sessions can reduce the amount of pain medication needed by those over 80.
Dancing can also reduce the pain of arthritis. Dancing can make you more agile and give you more energy, too.
Reduce the Risk of Depression through Dance
Dancing can make you feel joyful, confident, and motivated. If you’re retired, you’re probably wondering how to spend your time. Dancing could be just the thing you need.
Researchers at the University of Nevada conducted a study at several retirement homes. They found that the majority of residents experiencing problems with their mood improved in just two weeks after participating in regular dance lessons.
They were less depressed, stressed, and anxious and also slept better.
Improve Your Mobility and Balance
As we reach the age of 50, we tend to stiffen. We tend to think arthritis is more common amongst those who regularly used their joints.
Staying active and moving around can reduce this. Dancing is a great way to safely move around.
You’ll improve your mobility and limit joint pain.
Dancing can also improve your balance. As we get older, our inner ear tends to deteriorate and make us more prone to losing balance and falling. Dancing can help you to improve your balance and fall less, which is useful as injuries from falling can take longer to recover from once we reach 50.
Improve the Quality of Life for Those with Parkinson’s
Several studies have shown that dancing can combat the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. A study from the University of Washington showed that dancing can be useful for:
- Reducing the risk of falling
- Improving rhythm, speed, and flexibility.
- Increasing muscle strength and tone.
- Improving memory and focus.
- Increasing self-esteem.
These benefits are even more important for those with Parkinson’s disease.
Reduce the Risk of Alzheimer’s
In addition to improving your body, dancing also comes with plenty of benefits for your brain. Dancing involves quick decision-making and reactions, improving our brain.
It can result in new neural pathways being created. For a long time, we thought this was impossible beyond a certain age. As our brain is used, it’ll create new connections regardless of our age. Dancing can help us do that.
This means that dancing will improve your cognitive capacity, use your brain, and limit the damage or risk of Alzheimer’s. It’s also a nice change from doing crosswords.
Once we reach 50, it’s much easier to gain weight. Those aged 65-75 are more likely to be overweight. This is usually due to a sedentary lifestyle. During retirement, we’re less active. Not only will you lose muscle mass, but you’ll expend less energy in your daily life.
A lot of people don’t change their diet to match this change. We need fewer calories as we become less active but more nutrition. Similarly, different types of medication can cause weight gain.
Obesity can increase the risk of illnesses like diabetes, respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers. It can also increase the risk of arthritis.
Dancing can get you up and moving and help you manage your weight.
Build and Tone Muscle
A lot of seniors can suffer from reduced muscle mass. Researchers and Manchester University and Waterloo University, Canada, confirmed a loss of motor neurones and the denervation of muscle fibres in older people.
While they don’t know exactly what causes this, they have observed it happening. Doctors will generally recommend:
- 10,000 steps a day.
- 30 minutes of daily physical activity.
- A balanced diet: 1.2g of protein per kilo of weight and 30kcal per kilo of weight.
Dancing can help maintain muscle mass and keep muscles toned. Gentle activities like walking and dancing can come with physical, mental, and social benefits.
Ready to go?
Let’s see what kind of dancing you can do.
If you're interested in learning to dance or getting dance lessons, consider looking for a private dance tutor on the Superprof websites. 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.
Don't forget that a lot of the tutors on the Superprof website offer the first lesson or session for free. You can use these free sessions to try out several potential tutors before deciding on the tutor that's right for you, your level, and your budget. Of course, it's always recommended to concentrate your search on suitable tutors rather than just looking for free lessons from any dance tutor.
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