Seniors are Getting Back to Dancing

If you’re a senior citizen who loves to listen to music, I’m pretty sure that you’re interested in ballroom dancing. This is because it’s the most social way to express yourself to music. In fact, it’s a good fit for the older dancer because it can be as active or laid back as you like.

When it comes to ballroom lessons for grownups, you can’t beat the 3-way system of teaching, which is a combination of private lessons, group classes, and practice parties. If you begin with a private lesson, your instructor can get an idea of where you’re at now. Then, he or she will recommend group classes and practice parties for you.

What should I learn?

As far as the dances go, if you’re just starting or getting back to your lessons, the most useful ones are Foxtrot, Waltz, Rumba, and Merengue. Therefore, getting a good foundation in these dances will help make you a better all-around dancer.

Foxtrot is the #1 social dance.

Foxtrot improves your partnership skills in all the dances. Above all, the leader must be decisive and boldly direct his partner. The follower responds by waiting until his intention is clear, at which point she moves a split-second behind him. Without a doubt, a good follower has learned to trust her partner.

Waltz and Rumba share the same basic step, the Box Step.

When you learn the Box Step, it’s like getting 2 dances for the price of one.

Waltz music can make you feel as if you’re floating on a cloud. Patti Page’s Tennessee Waltz and Norah Jones’ Come Away with Me are examples of beautiful Waltzes. Sometimes referred to as the ‘princess dance’, Waltz is a classic that never goes out of style.

Floating on a cloud.

Rumba is a great all-around dance. Although it’s technically a Latin dance with a slow to moderate tempo, this basic move goes to just about any kind of music. For example, songs like Stand By Me, Kokomo, and Under the Boardwalk are all excellent Rumbas.

Finally, there’s Merengue.

This super-easy Latin dance is a fun way to start learning the turns and spins used in the faster dances. It’s a piece of cake to transition from Merengue to 4-Count Hustle and East Coast Swing. By the way, Merengue is what you do with people who don’t know how to dance. Yeah, it’s that easy!

What to expect.

When you first get back to dancing you can expect to be a bit stiff. That’s because new muscles are just starting to warm up. Give it a little time. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how your body responds as you get stronger.

getting back to dancing can result in sore muscles
Rub a little liniment on those sore muscles.

Here are some benefits for the senior dancer.

  • You’ll notice an increase in your stamina. For example, as you begin your lessons, you may be unable to complete a whole lesson without a break. Eventually, that will change and you’ll be doing double lessons…followed by a practice party. And, it’ll all be on the same day!
  • As time goes by, your posture tends to take a hit. Your instructor will coach you on how to hold yourself on the dance floor. The end result is you’ll be a better partner and look good, too.
  • With better posture, you can expect better balance. Ultimately, you’ll be sure-footed both on the dance floor and off.
  • The cobwebs in your mind will clear. Using your mind and body to learn improves mental clarity. It’s also an effective way to ward off dementia.

Don’t hesitate to get back to dancing and add some life to your life. Please check out Dance Safari’s post, “Getting Started with Your Ballroom Dance Lessons”.

seniors are getting back to dancing


    • As an instructor, I’ve seen it many times. According to, “…some individuals aren’t getting enough physical activity. The benefits of physical exercise in dementia are many and can include increased daily functioning and improved cognition.”

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