Why tango? Those of you who already tango know why you tango, but perhaps you might like to know some of the measured benefits to this wonderful dance and why it is considered by health care professionals to be an ideal exercise to benefit social, mental and physical well-being across the ages.
This article will describe the existing peer review research on the benefits of Argentine tango dancing in general, and specifically, for persons with disabilities.
In this brief review, I will attempt to cover the main benefits of this glorious activity.Dance targets 6 main areas considered to be important for high quality of life and successful aging:
1. physical exercise
2. social satisfaction
3. spirituality and mindfulness
6. emotional and educational health
While all types of dance confers some types of benefits, Argentine tango dancing, in particular, has documented proof that these areas are improved in both healthy and disabled populations. As well, it does seem to confer more benefits than ballroom dancing, according to Drs. Hackney and Earhart. Many researchers feel that the combination of tango music, sense of accomplishment, and attention required to follow improvisational moves make tango very special for improving both cognitive and physical health. In addition, since Argentine Tango is primarily a walking dance, it is actually easier to learn and perform than many other dances and, since changing partners is encouraged, it is more accommodating for getting to know the community of dancers.
Lets look at these areas individually to see specific effects of Argentine Tango.
1. Physical Exercise
• Tango is good for cardiovascular health.Intensity can be modified to ensure that it is an endurance exercise. Indeed, in Argentina, Drs. Comasco and Peidro have shown in a hospital setting that Tango can be used to improve cardiovascular fitness in persons who have had a cardiac incident or a heart attack.
• Tango increases mobility, balance, stride length and core strength.These changes have been demonstrated not only in healthy individuals, but in those at risk for falls by Dr McKinley and colleagues, in persons with Parkinson’s disease by Drs Hackney and Earhart, in persons with visual impairment by Dr Hackney, and, in a case study, for a person post-stroke (ref name).
2. Social Satisfaction
• Interaction with people with similar interests.Partnered tango dance has been found to be an important activity which is engaging, and is self-promoting, because of the amount of enjoyment and identification within the group of p