Thursday, 2 April 2009

Keep on dancing

You may recall that I was in raptures a couple of weeks ago about the over 50's chorus girls and boys in the Palm Springs Follies. Well, there is now new evidence that suggests that older people can dance their way towards improved health and happiness, according to a report from the Changing Ageing Partnership (CAP).

The research, by Dr Jonathan Skinner from Queen's University Belfast, reveals the social, mental and physical benefits of social dancing for older people. It suggests that dancing staves off illness, and even counteracts the ageing process.

Recommendations include the expansion of social dance provision for older people in order to aid successful ageing and help older people enjoy longer and healthier lives.

Jonathan Skinner, Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the School of History and Anthropology at Queen's, studied the effects of social dancing amongst older people in Northern Ireland, Blackpool and Sacramento, USA.

Dr Skinner said: 'I have found that social dancing leads to a continued engagement with life - past, present, and future - and holds the promise for successful ageing. It contributes to the longevity of the dancers, giving them something to enjoy and focus upon - to live for. It alleviates social isolation and quite literally helps take away the aches and pains associated with older age.'

So - a bit of 'Strictly' for us all.

No comments: