Performing Dance Arts (www.PerformingDanceArts.ca), Toronto’s leading dance studio providing professional dance lessons for kids of all ages, is weighing in on new research showing the health benefits of dancing.

A new study published in the American Heart Association’s journal, Circulation, showed that seniors who participated in dance had better physical functions and were more mobile than their counterparts. (Source: Vasquez, P et al. “Influence of Latin Dance on Physical Activity Among Community Dwelling Older Latino Adults,” Circulation, last accessed March 30, 2016; http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/133/Suppl_1/AP246.abstract.)

“We obviously know how important dance is to the children that we teach,” says Ashley Daychak, creative director at Performing Dance Arts. “But the health benefits of dance extend to people of all ages, and this study was able to prove that in their research.”

Of the 57 Latin/Hispanic seniors who were involved in the study, half of them took a salsa dance class while the others simply entered a health education program. Although both gained advantages, the results of the study showed that the salsa dancing group was more active.

“The difference in the testing of the two groups was significant,” Daychak continues. “The group that was involved in the health education program walked an average of 10 seconds faster when they were tested after the four month program. The group who engaged in salsa lessons walked an average of 38 seconds faster than when originally tested. That’s pretty incredible.”

One of the leads of the study, Associate Professor Dave Marquez, believes dance also leads to cognitive improvements as well. Marquez says that the overall dance experience of movement and engaging with other people can lead to an increase in the quality of life.

“We see it with our kids all the time. Dancing is about so much more than just learning the moves,” Daychak says. “Our kids learn to socialize, learn to work together, and gain a certain confidence that stems from their dancing.”

Performing Dance Arts provides both professional and casual dance lessons to children of all ages and levels. It operates out of a dance studio in the Woodbridge area and serves all of the York Region and the Greater Toronto Area.