Ballroom Dance Studio Makes a Unique Move

Beginning September 17, Teatime dance classes will be open to anyone in our community who is living with Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other movement or memory challenges. The Alzheimer’s Project (TAP) and Fred Astaire Dance Studio, Boynton Beach are teaming up to offer “Music + Movement = Memory”, a six-week series uniquely designed to combat the progression of cognitive and physical disturbances.

Judith Simon, former president of A & J Home Care and Careseekers, and co-founder of TAP, will put her wealth of knowledge from over twenty-five years’ experience into motion, as she teaches the steps. In 2011 she established TAP, a non-profit organization based on the principles of ballroom dancing and its health benefits. Simon’s vision became reality the following year when the need for complementary and “alternative” treatments for individuals with cognitive challenges was formally recognized and accepted. TAP has been recognized by the National Institute for Dementia Education.

Scientific research now proves the impact of ballroom dance. One example is a 2017 study by Dr. Kathrin Rehfeld measuring the effects of dancing on senior-aged participants. The results showed an increase in the hippocampus region of the brain, key to memory, learning and balance.

According to the study, “Dancing seems a promising intervention for both improving balance and brain structure in the elderly. It combines aerobic fitness, sensorimotor skills and cognitive demands while at the same time the risk of injuries is low.”

According to Ed Gray/OTR/L. PTA., founder of Florida Movement Therapy Centers, “Individuals [with Parkinson’s Disease] suffer with a variety of both motor and non-motor symptoms. One of the best ways to offset these symptoms is to exercise and have fun at the same time. Dancing, which of course fills both of these, also has so many more benefits to help slow the progression of the disease. Dancing helps with balance, improves motor movement of coordination, reaction time, visual acuity, as well as cognition. But best of all, it promotes socialization, fun and a way to offset the progression of this difficult disease.”

Dr. Rehfeld believes “that everybody would like to live an independent and healthy life, for as long as possible, [and] dancing is a powerful tool to set new challenges for body and mind, especially in older age,”. If you’d like to improve or maintain your memory, strengthen your balance, remain active longer, or simply give yourself a chance to enjoy movement again, this class is for you.

Teatime will be hosted by Fred Astaire Dance Studio, Boynton Beach from 1:00-2:30 p.m. Please visit www.fredastaireboynton.com for more details. As part of the drive to fuel its continuity, $5 donations from participants will be appreciated. Everyone is encouraged to spread the word to all who may benefit. It will be a time of refreshing, connecting and building new bonds.

Citation:
Rehfeld, K., Muller, P., Schmicker, M., Dordevic, M., Kaufmann, J., Hokelann, A., & Muller, N. (2017) Dancing of fitness sport?: The effects of two training programs on hippocampal placticity and balance abilities in healthy seniors. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 15 June 2017. Doi: https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2017.00305