Remember The Time: United for Wellness! Line Dance Fusion Weekend

What's The Connection Between Dancing and Wellness?
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Wellness and Dancing



The links between wellness and dancing, and specifically between wellness and line dancing are many, and have been borne out in many scientific medical studies. In addition to the benefit of physical excercise, line dancing provides the mental stimulation of constant acquisition of new routines and dance step combinations, along with the benefit of social interaction and doing things in concert with others.
Dancing has been shown to provide greater benefits to psychic, cardiac and overall physical health than any other form of exercise. The social aspect, not just that we are dancing with others, but that we help others both on and off the dance floor and that line dancing promotes friendship, have many benefits for physical and mental health.
Below are a few studies that showcase the wellness benefits of dance.
Newspaper & Popular Magazine Articles

Soul Line Dancing: Come For The Fitness. Stay For The Friendships - by Maria Godoy on NPR.org.
Line dancing offers many health benefits - publised on The Borneo Post.
The Benefits of Line Dancing - by Dori Yez; published in Cleveland Country Magazine.
Why Dancing Is the Best Thing You Can Do For Your Body - by Markham Heid; published in Time Magazine.
Scientific Journal Articles

Rodrigues-Krause et al. Effects of dancing compared to walking on cardiovascular risk and functional capacity of older women: A randomized controlled trial.
Exp Gerontol. 2018 Dec;114:67-77.
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30389581/
Introduction: Aging is characterized by reductions in lean mass simultaneously to increases in visceral adipose tissue, elevating cardiovascular risk (CVR) and physical dependence. Dancing has been recommended for improving fall-risk and CVR, however, comparisons with traditional exercises are limited. This study aimed to compare the effects of dancing with walking on CVR and functionality of older women.
Conclusion: Dancing induced similar increases in VO2peak, lower body muscle power and static balance as walking, while the stretching group remained unchanged. Pooled effects showed improvements in body composition, lipid and inflammatory profile, which are supported by increased PA levels.

Schroeder K, et al. Dance for Health: An Intergenerational Program to Increase Access to Physical Activity. J Pediatr Nurs. Nov-Dec 2017;37:29-34.
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28733128/
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate Dance for Health, an intergenerational program to increase access to physical activity in an underserved, high risk urban community.
Design and methods: Dance for Health was developed using community-based participatory research methods and evaluated using an observational study design. The program entailed two hour line dancing sessions delivered by trained dance instructors in the neighborhood recreation center. The weekly sessions were delivered for one month in the spring and one month in the fall from 2012-2016. Nurse practitioner students mentored local high school students to assess outcomes: achievement of target heart rate, Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion, number of pedometer steps during dance session, Physical Activity Enjoyment Scale, and adiposity. Analytic methods included descriptive statistics and mixed effects models.
Conclusions: Dance for Health demonstrated high levels of community engagement and enjoyment. It led to adequate levels of exertion, particularly for adults. Our evaluation can inform program refinement and future intergenerational physical activity programs.
Practice implications: Dance is an enjoyable, culturally appropriate, low cost method for increasing access to physical activity for children and families.

Teixeira-Machado et al. Dance for neuroplasticity: A descriptive systematic review. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2019 Jan;96:232-240
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30543905/
Abstract. We conducted a systematic review of randomized clinical trials to investigate whether dance practice promotes neuroplasticity. We also determined how dancing is able to alter (1) brain volumes and structures (2) brain function, (3) psychomotor adjustment and (4) levels of neurotrophic factors. This systematic review formulated a research question based on PICO, according to the guidelines for systematic reviews and meta-analyzes (PRISMA), "What is the influence of dance practice on neuroplasticity in already mature brains?" We screened 1071 studies and from these eight studies were included in the review. Of the selected studies, all demonstrated positive structural and/or functional changes. Structural changes included increased hippocampal volume, gray matter volume in the left precentral and parahippocampal gyrus, and white matter integrity. Functional changes included alterations in cognitive function such as significant improvement in memory, attention, body balance, psychosocial parameters and altered peripheral neurotrophic factor. Based on the evidence, dance practice integrates brain areas to improve neuroplasticity.

Nadasen K. "Life without line dancing and the other activities would be too dreadful to imagine": an increase in social activity for older women. J Women Aging. 2008;20(3-4):329-42.
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18983115/
Abstract. The literature on aging is replete with the positive effects of physical exercise on the well-being of older adults. Some suggest, however, that the potential impact of social activities has not received adequate attention, and others note the importance of distinguishing between the physical and nonphysical impact of these activities. This study investigated whether line dancing, a physical activity, led to an increase in social activity. Thirty women over the age of 60 were interviewed to discover how line dancing affected them. Content analysis of the interviews helped identify various themes indicating that line dancing enabled these women to expand their repertoire of social activity, leading to positive reinforcements such as further community involvement, charitable work, inclusion in national sports events, self-expression, and personal development. The impact of line dancing plainly goes beyond the perceived physical benefits.

McNeely ME et al. Impacts of dance on non-motor symptoms, participation, and quality of life in Parkinson disease and healthy older adults. Maturitas. 2015 Dec;82(4):336-41.
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26318265/
Abstract. Evidence indicates exercise is beneficial for motor and non-motor function in older adults and people with chronic diseases including Parkinson disease (PD). Dance may be a relevant form of exercise in PD and older adults due to social factors and accessibility. People with PD experience motor and non-motor symptoms, but treatments, interventions, and assessments often focus more on motor symptoms. Similar non-motor symptoms also occur in older adults. While it is well-known that dance may improve motor outcomes, it is less clear how dance affects non-motor symptoms. This review aims to describe the effects of dance interventions on non-motor symptoms in older adults and PD, highlights limitations of the literature, and identifies opportunities for future research. Overall, intervention parameters, study designs, and outcome measures differ widely, limiting comparisons across studies. Results are mixed in both populations, but evidence supports the potential for dance to improve mood, cognition, and quality of life in PD and healthy older adults. Participation and non-motor symptoms like sleep disturbances, pain, and fatigue have not been measured in older adults. Additional well-designed studies comparing dance and exercise interventions are needed to clarify the effects of dance on non-motor function and establish recommendations for these populations.

Withers JW et al. Influence of adapted hip-hop dancing on quality of life and social participation among children/adolescents with cerebral palsy. Arq Neuropsiquiatr. 2019 Oct 24;77(10):712-722.
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31664347/
Objective: To describe the influence of adapted hip-hop dancing on the quality of life (QoL) and biopsychosocial profile of children/adolescents with cerebral palsy (CP).
Methods: Pilot study including 18 children/adolescents with CP and Gross Motor Function Classification System levels I and II. Nine participants took part in an adapted hip-hop dance practice (study group; SG), and nine others served as the control group (CG). All participants were assessed with the Pediatric Outcomes Data Collection Instrument and the Child Behavior Checklist at baseline and after at least three months of dance practice and a public performance (SG) or a similar period without intervention (CG).
Conclusions: Children/adolescents with CP participating in adapted hip-hop dance practice showed improvement in QoL and biopsychosocial profile scores.

Kim MJ and Lee CW. Health benefits of dancing activity among Korean middle-aged women. Int J Qual Stud Health Well-being. 2016 Jul 4;11:31215.
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27389818/
Abstract. The purpose of this study was to understand the health benefits of line dancing activity in Korean middle-aged women. This study explored how Korean middle-aged women perceive health benefits through lived experiences of line dancing in their leisure time. Three themes emerged related to health benefits: (1) psychological benefit, (2) physical benefit, and (3) social benefit. This finding suggested that serious leisure experience aids health enhancements in the lives of Korean middle-aged women. This study also discusses the research implication that continuous participation in leisure activity is necessary for health improvement in Korean middle-aged women.