Dancing is the Best Exercise for Senior Ladies


An 8-year population based cohort Japanese study published December 18, 2018, in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports shows that senior women who engage in dancing have less assisted daily living (ADL) needs than women who engage in 15 other forms of physical exercise such as:

Japanese croquet
Ball games
Aqua exercise
Martial arts
Tai Chi
Quoits (a ring toss game)
Strength exercise

Japanese researchers questioned 1003 senior women ages 75-84, who did not have the need for assisted daily living (ADL), about the kinds of physical exercise they participated in out of a list of 16 different kinds of physical exercise. During the 8-year follow-up period, 130 of the women ended up needing at least one kind of assisted daily living. However, women whose main physical exercise was dancing had a 73% lower risk for needing assistance with at least one ADL.

No one really knows why dancing is so much more beneficial than other kinds of physical exercise for older women.

Professional Israel Dance Company Holds Performance by Senior Ladies

Israel21c published January 16, 2019, a featured article about a dance show called “GO” that opened a year ago at the famous Suzanne Dallal Center for Dance and Theater in Tel Aviv. The amazing thing about “GO” is that all the performers are senior women who are 70-75 years old with the oldest one being age 83. None of them were ever professional dancers, although several of them said they had wanted to pursue a career in dancing when they were younger.

Gila Workshops for Older Women

The choreographer Galit Liss began running Gila workshops of movement and stage art for older women in 2009 and more than 500 women ages 50-83 have passed through her workshops. Liss said she wanted to make a statement that older people should not be excluded from a productive life. Liss takes into account the age of the women and so movements are usually soft and kneepads are available for those who need them. Also, no one is pushed to exertion and each dancer performs as much as she is able to.

Each Gila Workshop Session Consists of two Classes:

The First Class is movement and improvisation accompanied by music.

The Second Class is from the concept to the stage. The women participate in the choreographic work experience. Each participant creates a personal solo performance.

At the end of the course is an event summing up the work process in front of a “family like” audience, which includes a solo performance by each participant.

The Van Duyn Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing in Syracuse, New York

When choosing a short-term rehab or long-term skilled nursing facility be sure to check out the recreational therapy programs and make sure there is plenty of music and also room to dance for those who are able to. Even being in a wheel chair still leaves plenty of room for dancing with your arms. The Van Duyn Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing in Syracuse, New York has a fantastic array of recreational therapy activities and there is plenty of music.


This dance performance where all the participants are senior women should encourage all senior women that it is possible to participate in creative activities at all ages.

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