Watch CBS News

NYC Seniors Dance To Reduce Risk Of Developing Dementia

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- November is Alzheimer's Awareness Month and some New York City seniors are fighting back with their feet.

As CBS2's Alex Denis reported, the seniors at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio on the Upper East Side dance for something more than just a good time. Each step they take may help ward off dementia.

"Ballroom dancing isn't just physical activity. It has social, emotional, and intellectual properties," said Marina Tarsinov, owner of Fred Astaire Dance Studio.

Remembering steps, moving in precise time, adapting to movements all help boost brain power, which may protect against developing Alzheimer's later in life.

A study in the New England Journal of Medicine recently revealed seniors who participate regularly in ballroom dance experience a 76 percent reduction in the risk of developing dementia.

"It's concentrating. It makes you focus a little more, which I have trouble doing here and there," said 66-year-old dancer Pam Swerdlick.

"When you dance with a partner, you two are very close. It's like you're getting a big hug every time," said 75-year-old dancer Anne Marie Paul.

And don't forget it's a good workout as well.

"This beats lifting weights," said 89-year-old dancer Ed Robbins.

For those who are afraid to give ballroom dancing a try, these dancers promise you'll be gliding around the floor in no time.

"Your mind and your body does find your feet, and there's a moment when the light bulb goes off and you and say to yourself 'I got it,'" said 74-year-old dancer Audrey Grieco.

Check Out These Other Stories From

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.