IT HAS been proven that dance, more than any other leisure activity, reduces the risk of dementia in older people. Dance has also been shown to be beneficial in the direct treatment of a number of conditions including arthritis, Parkinson’s disease and depression. Whilst many of us may not consider ourselves coordinated enough to pull together some dance moves, the health benefits of dancing mean that we should certainly consider giving it a try.

Dance has vital physical health benefits including improvements in balance, strength and gait, which all help reduce the risk of falls, one of the main contributors to loss of independence in later life. However, what we don’t often consider is the significant influence dancing can have on our emotional and mental health also.

Whilst dance is a form of exercise, it is also a social experience and often requires high levels of concentration and focused mental activity which improves our reaction times and cognitive performance as well as reducing social isolation, improving self-esteem and our general wellbeing. These health improvements benefit everyone as we age and help the management of physical and psychological changes associated with growing older. One of the key contributors to a poor health profile is that many older people live a more sedentary and, often, a more isolated life. Dancing is one of many ways to change that.

Contact Age UK South Lakeland on 030-300-30003 to learn more about the various tea dances and dancing taster sessions we are currently offering across the district; from simply watching, to tapping your toes or moving like you haven’t moved in years - now is the time to get involved.