Ballroom to Boogie: How Dancing Can Improve Seniors’ Brain Health

Social dancing is back! Both indoors, outdoors and more in the works!

Social dancing is back! Both indoors, outdoors and more in the works!

Diana Wille

A wealth of studies have shown that exercise and physical activity can help us keep our minds sharp and our bodies healthy. The data suggest that dancing, reading, playing board games, and playing musical instruments are associated with a significant reduction in dementia risk over a 20-year period.

According to UT Southwestern Medical Center, part of what makes dancing unique from other forms of exercise is the addition of music. Musical rhythms stimulate certain areas of the brain often known as our “rewards centers.” These regions are associated with the chemical dopamine, which affects happiness and well-being as well as movement and thinking. Dancing and music also stimulate the motor and sensory circuits in the brain. These combined reactions offer mature adults a unique level of brain activation they might not get at the gym.

Free ballroom dance lessons now available.

The SaddleBrooke Ballroom Dance Club (SBDC) has opportunities to help you get out on the dance floor. SBDC currently provides ballroom dance lessons, free to members, on Friday afternoons from 3 to 4 p.m. in the SaddleBrooke One Tennis Pavilion. A social dance follows from 4 to 5 p.m. Masks are required and social distancing is observed. Want to make sure the club is a fit for you before you join? You are welcome to come and try it out, and you won’t have to pay anything! Just let us know you are coming by contacting our email at [email protected] Additional dance lessons are being arranged, so please keep yourself updated on our website.

Free social dancing is also available.

On Wednesdays, from 3 to 5 p.m., we have a social dance in the Vermilion Room at the SaddleBrooke One Clubhouse. Registration is required, as attendance is limited. Again, following SaddleBrooke One rules, masks are required and social distancing is observed. Register through our email at [email protected] Stay updated on our website at, for any changes or additions.

Dinner Dances are back!

Recently we had a First Thursday Dinner and Dancing night. The SaddleBrooke One Vistas Dining Room staff worked with us to provide dinners ordered from the menu, and SBDC’s DJs provided wonderful dance music. What a positive, happy night we had! We are currently reserving additional times and spaces, so the website will be updated, once secured.

How do you get information about these events?

As a member, you would be on the email list that keeps you updated on where and when events will occur. As we have more vaccines, and virus numbers continue to improve, more dancing opportunities will become available. So, do yourself and our members a favor by becoming a SBDC member. Go to our website at, for documents to join, and a calendar to see what events are available. We look forward to meeting you in the SaddleBrooke Ballroom Dance Club, where the learning continues, and the fun never ends.