When Rudolf Nureyev said, “You Live As Long As You Dance,” he didn’t know how prophetic he was.
A new study published online (July 28, 2021) in Menopause, the Journal of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS), suggests that dancing improves cholesterol levels, physical fitness, and self-esteem in postmenopausal women.
A total of 36 postmenopausal participants (mean age 57 years) danced three times per week for 90 minutes each day and were evaluated before, and after 16 weeks. The parameters evaluated were body composition (body fat and lean mass), blood lipids, functional fitness, self-image, and self-esteem.
The study found, “The 16-week dance intervention was effective in improving not only the lipid profile and functional fitness of postmenopausal women, but also self-image and self-esteem.”
“This study highlights the feasibility of a simple intervention, such as a dance class three times weekly, for improving not only fitness and metabolic profile but also self-image and self-esteem in postmenopausal women. In addition to these benefits, women also probably enjoyed a sense of comradery from the shared experience of learning something new,” says Dr. Stephanie Faubion, NAMS medical director.
So dust off the old dancing shoes, grab some friends, and turn up the music.
And don’t worry about knowing the correct steps, as Martha Graham said,“Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance. Great dancers are great because of their passion.”