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Health benefits of tango.

  • improves coordination, balance, and posture
  • increases muscle tone and flexibility
  • reduces stress and anxiety
  • improves cardiac health
  • lowers blood pressure
  • improves memory, focus, and multi-tasking
  • enables creative and emotional expression
  • builds greater ease in social situations
  • imparts that dancer’s aura: standing tall, radiating confidence
  • is increasingly used as therapy in a wide variety of applications: such as, physical therapy, couples therapy and therapy for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s patients

Dance naturally promotes health; we all notice the improved posture, circulation, balance, and muscle tone that dancing brings us. But the growing practice of Argentine Tango has led medical researchers to discover added health benefits specifically linked to this particular dance practice.

Parkinson patients, for example, responded better to tango than to standard physiotherapy (Hackney, ME., 2009).  In fact, The Fundación Tango Argentino (Argentine Tango Foundation) in Buenos Aires offers free tango classes to peoples with Parkinson’s.

Dr. Federico Trossero was inspired to investigate the clinical application of tango when he noticed that headaches disappeared after dancing tango.  Since then, research has shown tango useful in lowering blood pressure and improving circulation, (Peidro, R., 2007); as well as improving cardiac health, and fighting arteriosclerosis. Researchers at McGill found that practicing tango improved balance and coordination in aging patients (McKinley, P., 2005), while studies at Washington University (Finch, J., 2013) showed tango helping balance more than comparable exercises. Research even hints that tango could reduce memory loss for those sufferig from Alzheimer’s (Hackney, ME., 2009).

Mental health can also improve with tango. To begin with, some of the physical changes just listed can reduce anxiety and stress.  Tango is now being included as a helpful therapy by practitioners treating social phobia, depression, and even schizophrenia. (Trossero, F., 2006). The dance has also been found helpful for those suffering from trauma and a wide variety of relational problems, and there is growing interest in the use of Tango as couples therapy.

All this has led to the creation of a yearly global Tango Therapy conference in Argentina on the wide-ranging therapeutic uses of tango.

Washington University Study: Parkinsons  and Dancing

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