Dance has great benefits related to physical, mental as well as emotional aspect of human body, as it involves both movement and awareness. Children, adults, and older people can all practice dance according to their physical abilities and level of comfort. For older people, some slow movement related dances could be practiced safely and beneficially.
When it comes to dance for the elderly, some of the preferred and safe styles include:
Folk Dances: Alunelul (a Rumanian folk dance), Joe (an American heritage dance), Cshebogar (a Hungarian Gypsy Dance that dramatizes the moth as it flies around a flame), Green Sleeves (an old English country dance), Hpak (a Ukrainian dance), Hora (an Israeli Dance), Miserlou (Greek dance), Virginia Reel (an English dance).
Social Dances: Waltz, Fox Trot, Samba, Rumba, Cha-Cha, Swing, Polka.
These dance styles are safe for elderly people as far as they are practiced at a slow to medium pace and in proper rhythm.
Benefits of dance for the elderly:
• Dance helps in betterment of balance, coordination, alignment and speedy movements and reduction in joint pains, insomnia, low back pain, and neuromuscular hypertension.
• Practicing dance regularly in old age helps to reduce the possibility of heart disease, decreases blood pressure, manages weight, and strengthens the bones of legs and hips.
• Social dancing helps to reduce stress, increase energy level, muscle tone, and coordination.
• Dancing aids in reduction of the possibility of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia in old age.
• Some forms of dance involve social interaction that helps to decrease the feeling of solitude, loneliness and boredom in old age. These feelings are replaced by friendship, collaboration and pleasure and an improvement in mental wellbeing.
• Dancing helps to inspire creativity, allowing individuals to practice and perfect various steps and movements.