Yes, line dancing provides us with a great way to get exercise and engage in social interaction but it is also a great way to exercise your brain.

A 21-year study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found dancing can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia in the elderly. In the study, participants over the age of 75 who engaged in reading, dancing and playing musical instruments and board games once a week had a seven percent lower risk of dementia compared to those who did not. Those who engaged in these activities at least 11 days a month had a 63 percent lower risk!

Physical activities like playing tennis or golf, swimming, bicycling, walking for exercise and doing housework were also studied. One of the surprises of the study was that almost none of these physical activities appeared to offer any protection against dementia. There can be cardiovascular benefits of course, but the focus of this study was the mind. The only physical activity, of those studied, to offer protection against dementia was frequent dancing which lowered the risk by a dramatic 76 percent. Of all the physical activities, dancing involved the most mental effort. So stop doing housework and start dancing!!

In a 2008 article in Scientific American magazine, a Columbia University neuroscientist posited that synchronising music and movement—dance, essentially—constitutes a “pleasure double play.” Music stimulates the brain’s reward centres, while dance activates its sensory and motor circuits

Cherry Steppers Modern Line Dancing holds line dancing classes on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings from 9.30-10.30am at the Loftus Recreation Centre, Leederville. Cherry Steppers will be starting an absolute beginner line dance course and a long format evening class soon.

Want to find out more? Contact Claire at or follow Cherry Steppers on Facebook.

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