According to USA Today (11/15/05), a recent study at McGill University demonstrated that dancing can boost brainpower and offset the mental decline that comes with old age. In addition, the New York Times reported on a recent study in the Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy (JNPT 12/07) that Argentine tango, more so than other traditional movement therapies, improves the balance and overall well-being of people suffering from Parkinson's Disease.
The Elders Outreach program was originally conceived and developed by Mercurio instructor Noora Aberman. It offers free tango instruction and demonstrations to the elder residents of Washington, DC, particularly those of limited means. These uplifting and enriching events employ tango both as a form of movement therapy and as a constructive social activity.
We piloted this initiative in August 2008, when approximately 30 residents of the Washington Nursing Facility in Southeast DC enjoyed a performance and interactive dancing session. During the month of August 2009 we partnered with Vida Senior Centers in Columbia Heights to offer six consecutive tango sessions to a group of latino and multi-cultural elder residents of the neighborhood. In Spring/Summer 2010, we ran a 20-week program of tango classes at Vida and a 10-week program at Iona Senior Center.
If you are interested in Tango Mercurio's Outreach opportunities, please email us.