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Learning to Dance as a Senior

Learning to dance as a senior has many benefits. The increased movement provides an excellent source of exercise, and the coordination needed to complete patterns of steps can help prevent falls during daily activities. Recent medical studies have shown that dancing, especially at social and freestyle dances that require seniors to interact with a partner or make quick decisions, reduces the chance for developing dementia.

Dancing also offers seniors opportunities to socialize and make new memories and friends. Seniors interested in dancing can choose from a wide variety of styles, such as slow waltzes and ballet or group-based square and line dances. This variety adds to the fun by allowing seniors to choose a dance style that matches their personality. Here are some of the ways that seniors can get started on their own dancing journey today.

Professional Lessons

Whether seniors opt to be tutored privately or join a group lesson at one of the many dance studios around Phoenix, a professional instructor can help them identify their strengths and potentially overcome their weaknesses. In private sessions, the teacher can focus solely on the individual and tailor instruction to meet their needs, and in group practices, seniors can learn alongside others and share encouragement and tips with their classmates.

Senior Center Activities

Many of the nearby senior centers offer dance workshops among their scheduled activities throughout the year. These activities are often free to members or cost a small fee per class. Classes often feature dance styles such as Zumba, line dancing or ballroom dancing and are led by trained professionals and volunteers. Transportation is usually available through taxi and bus services. Bethesda Gardens' residents can research the programs and assistance available at each senior center location through the information and phone numbers listed on the City of Phoenix Human Services Department website.

Books and DVDs

Seniors who enjoy learning at their own pace have a wealth of resources to help them get started. How-to books and dvds on the subject can be found at the Phoenix Public Library and local bookstores, and the internet is filled with articles and videos with demonstrations and breakdowns of the order of steps and movements in nearly every known dance style. Though seniors should check with their doctor before starting any new types of exercise, the number of dance variations, including ones aimed at individuals in wheelchairs, ensures that everyone can find one that matches their physical capabilities.

Friends and Family

Seniors can also tap into their network of family and friends when learning how to dance. If someone they know has already taken classes, then seniors can ask them about the experience.

By speaking with their loved ones, seniors may also find someone they know who has a mutual interest in studying a particular dance and wants to join them in learning how. By practicing with family and friends, seniors can enjoy a new hobby and the opportunity to spend time with their loved ones.

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