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Dancing is good for the heart and brain, because exercise and communication help reduce the risk of dementia


For retired Lou Titian, dancing is more than a hobby; it helps him stay young.

Twice a week he helps organize New Vogue dance events in the Wollongong area and maintains its own website listing all the dances in the region from the highlands to the South Coast.

New Vogue dances originated in colonial Australia in the 1930s in town halls and rural barns.(ABC Illawarra: Sarah Moss)

He has been involved in sequential dances – rock and roll, ballroom dancing and New Vogue – for more than a decade, and each month he performs 68 different dances.

“Trying to memorize them all … it helps the brain, and it definitely maintains your fitness level by doing it,” he said.

During the blockade, Mr. Titian and his partner Lynn Child noticed that their fitness levels had dropped.

“It took a while to realize,‘ Wait, we’re getting old and doing nothing, ’and we need to do something, and that’s the main reason why we do this dance activity; she needs to keep herself in shape. than we would normally be, ”he said.

Associate Professor Michael Woodward, an honorary medical advisor for dementia in Australia, believes they have come up with something.

“We now recognize that one of the biggest fears of older people is the development of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease [disease]so it is clear that people would like to do their best to reduce the risk, ”he said.

Dancers in the hall
People meet regularly at Marshall Mount Hall to participate in the New Vogue dance. (ABC Illawarra: Sarah Moss)

Take a pose

The woman in the multicolored top is smiling.  She is standing in front of the village hall
Dance lover Chris Terry highly recommends New Vogue.(ABC Illawarra: Sarah Moss)

Chris Terry started dancing when she was five years old, after her great-grandmother made her a skirt, and has since hardly stopped to catch her breath.

“She made me a spinning skirt, so I always went in a circle to make the skirt spin,” Ms. Terry said.

“I did a little bit of rock and roll and ballroom dancing, but the last 20 years I’ve started doing New Vogue, artisanal dancing and Scottish country, Irish, and rock and roll,” she said.

Ms. Terry said she likes that dancing helps her stay fit and cheerful.

“I couldn’t tell you how many dances I know, but your brain is working all the time, so it’s good for that and good for you in public,” she said.

“They say it’s the best thing to prevent Alzheimer’s, so it’s my tick.”

Chris and a friend are dancing
Ms. Terry invites male friends to dance with her, but says there is no shortage of dance partners when she goes alone.(ABC Illawarra: Sarah Moss)

Prevention is better than cure

Over the last decade, people have been acutely aware of the large number of people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia and what we can do to prevent it.

“We’ve always known what’s good for our heart, and there are a lot of coincidences between what’s good for the heart, good for our brain,” Dr. Woodward said.

The rhythm of life

Robin Ramble has been dancing at the Shoalhaven Heads Bowling Club for 28 years, and after her husband’s stroke the couple decided to play sports every day.

Because of the preference, doctors encouraged them to go dancing.

“We need to keep moving, engaging; it helps the brain, helps balance, also helps to remember dances with memory, ”Ms. Ramble said.

“Different styles of melodies, quicksteps, foxtrots; they all make you move at a certain pace, and it helps. ”

A woman in black is standing next to a man in a blue collar shirt in a country hall.
Robin Ramble and her husband dance several times a week at both Sholhaven Heads and Marshall Mount Hall.(ABC Illawarra: Sarah Moss)

Many dancers in the group on Tuesday night in Scholhaven Heads are close to retirement age, and many are over 80 years old.

“Now there are no young people who would engage in such dances,” Ms. Ramble said.

Dancers stand nearby in the country hall.
Marshall Mount Hall is only for dancing as the floor is considered to be of the highest quality.(ABC Illawarra: Sarah Moss)

Regardless of age, she says balls in the countryside can be had a lot of fun.

Associate Professor Michael Woodward is wearing a shirt with a collar and a jacket.  He looks outside
Michael Woodward has no doubts about the benefits of dancing.(ABC News: Brendan Esposito)

“My husband and I were in Merimbul a couple of weeks ago for a ball, Weight a couple of weeks before, and next weekend we’re going to Caloundra for a 12-hour dance weekend,” Ms. Ramble said.

Dementia Australia suggests that people should start dancing earlier in life rather than waiting until retirement.

“Reducing the risk of dementia, in fact, starts in 30-40 years, so don’t wait until the 70s; join sequential dances, line-up dances or anything else as early as possible,” Dr. Woodward said.


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