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Survival of the fittest

The proportion of people aged over 65 in comparison to the younger working population is increasing - it was 29% in 2015 and will be over 50% in 2060, according to Eurostat. There soon simply won't be enough young people to pay for the aged: for pensions, for healthcare, for care homes or for specialised housing.

There has to be a major change in mentality - the older generations can't expect to be cared for as the human resources just won't be enough; they will have to care for themselves.

So governments are waking up to the fact that negative ageing isn't an accident, a fatality or bad luck - it's down to lifestyle factors and everyone has to become responsible for their own future body and brain.

This article asks whether dance can counteract the age-related cognitive and brain declines we seen in middle aged and older adults.

The authors say: "Dance ... is related to proprioceptive abilities, sensorimotor body representation, and spatial awareness. Dance also has cognitive demands, as dancers have to remember different and demanding step sequences. Moreover, it has an artistic component that, combined with music, might affect additional cognitive and brain functions such as creativity, emotional intelligence or divergent thinking, as well as social interaction; it also has an affective component... Additionally, dance might be an appropriate type of exercise to avoid boredom, as it includes a variety of styles that, combined with music, tend to arouse emotions in the aging mind, an aspect that might have important im-plications for both the motivational and cognitive functioning of elders."

The effects of dance are so important that we should all find a style of dance that suits us - there are so many options, like bollywood, belly dancing, hiphop, modern jazz, country, jive, balboa, ballet, street, disco and many many more. Find a club and discover how much you can enjoy staying fit with friends. And get onto the clickanddance videos to keep sorting out those 2 left feet and to keep practicing weight transfers and direction changes.

Never too little, never too late, and so worthwhile; starting a new dance class could very well be a life-changing decision!


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