Benefits of Dance

AUTHOR:  Jessica Nyrop
DATE:  12/29/2020

It's In Our Bones

At some point in our lives, we have turned on the radio in the car and our favorite song is on. We crank up the volume and sing at the top of our lungs. Alternatively, we slip on our headphones and play our favorite playlist while cleaning the house. Maybe, we play Baby Shark and have a dance party with our 2-year-old. Music and dance has been around for centuries, it is a part of history and is a centerpiece of cultures around the world. 

Dance has a different meaning for each person and culture. Dance may be a ballet, a jig, a celebration or simply tapping a foot to the beat of music. Research has shown many benefits of dance that enhance physical, mental, emotion and social well-being.

group of older people dancing.

Photo obtained from

It's Good for Our Health!

In 2009, a review of several studies examined the benefits of dance in dancers vs. non-dancers.  Results showed older dancers had greater bone mineral density compared to older individuals who did not dance. Dancers had greater aerobic power, muscle strength and endurance, better balance, improved gait and speed. It also revealed dancers had a lower body mass index (BMI), decreased prevalence of diabetes, and hypertension compared to non-dancers.1

A cohort study examining exercise type and ADL disability (activities of daily life (bathing, clothing, feeding, etc.)) in 2019 found dancing compared to other forms of exercise decreased risk of ADL disability in older women.3 Vergehe et al. reported dancing lowers risk of dementia and revealed a higher subjective of well-being in subjects who danced versus non-dancers.2

Dancing can be an outlet to burn off physical energy. It is also an artistic outlet allowing for self-expression, emotion release, and creativity. Dance allows a person to achieve positive health outcomes and decrease risk of disease. So, put on some tap shoes, sneakers or go barefoot, turn on your favorite tunes and dance!

For more structured dance view the following links:

  1. Leisure Activities and the Risk of Dementia in the Elderly. N Engl J Med. 2003; 348:2508-2516. 10. Noice, T., et al., Keogh JWL, Kilding A, Pidgeon P, et al.
  2. Physical Benefits of Dancing for Healthy Older Adults: A Review. J of Aging and Physical Activity. 2009; 17: 1-23. 9. Verghese J, Lipton RB, Katz MJ,et al.
  3. Exercise Type and Activities of Daily Living Disability in Older Women. Scadinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports. 2019. 29:400-406. 3. Yosuke Osuka, Narumi Kojima, Miji Kim, Chang Won Won, Takao Suzuki, Hunkyung Kim.

Connect with Me

headshot of jessica nyrop.

Jessica Nyrop

Associate Director for Fitness and Instruction


175 Alumni Arena

Phone: 716-645-2534