A New Study Says Dancing Is Awesome for Your Brain

Not that you needed another reason to dance, but here's a pretty nifty one: A study recently published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience says getting your groove on might be good for your brain. Well, specifically for older peoples' brains. But the brain benefits of dance seem to be pretty impressive.


How'd the research team figure that out? They gathered a pool of test subjects in their 60s and 70s and divided it into three groups. One group began a walking regimen; one started a stretching routine; and one started taking dance lessons. (Specifically, country dance, in case you're wondering.)

After six months, the researchers found that members of the dancing group had better-looking "wiring" in the fornix, a part of the brain that's involved with processing speed and memory. The specifics of their findings are, unsurprisingly, a little technical, but if you're scientifically inclined, you can read the full study.

Here's where the fornix is, by the way.

Basically, because dance stimulated them cognitively and socially as well as physically, it boosted their brainpower more than other forms of exercise.

Dance: Good for your body, good for your soul, good for your noggin.

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(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)

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We also want you to get social! We'll be factoring social media likes and shares into our final tallies. Be sure to show your favorite finalist some love on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, sharing their profile pages and using the hashtag #DanceSpiritCMS.

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