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Ballroom dance: a way for seniors to diminish Dementia

Posted at 7:13 PM, Nov 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-18 21:13:12-05

Footwork, focus, memory, and concentration -- four things needed in order to learn how to ballroom dance. And that's what instructors at Marie and Wayne Corso's Fred Astaire Dance Studio are teaching many seniors -- in a way to help combat Dementia.

A study conducted by the New England Journal of Medicine shows frequent ballroom dancing can reduce the risk of Dementia by up to 76%.

"Ballroom dancing can help diminish Dementia," Marie Corso said. "That's because you're using different facets of your brain at the time that you're dancing."

Two of her students -- Steven and Regina Katz -- believe it.

"You've got to listen to the music, you've got to think about the steps," she said. "You've got to put the two of them together, and you've got to concentrate."

The couple, in their sixties, is learning how to ballroom dance together. Both say it's good for them physically as a workout, but also a very tough mental workout. 

"I've never had to focus on anything as much since I got my pilot's license," Steven Katz said.

"It builds up your mind and your thinking," Regina Katz said. "And it makes you more focused."

Corso has taught dance for years, to people of all ages. She believes it keeps people young and sharp. One of her former pupils danced well into his nineties. An inspiration to her, she now wants to help spread "the benefits of dance" to seniors in the Tucson community.

The Katz couple is happy to strengthen their minds together.

"It's not the kind of thing where they just throw little footprints on the floor and you follow them around," Steven said.

While simultaneously, their relationship.

"When you do it right, you're doing it right together, and when you flub it, you flub it together," Regina said.

"And when you're doing it together," Steven added. "You're creating a bond between each other."

"And if you already have a bond, it becomes a closer one," Regina said.

In their case, a 42 year bond, continuing to grow stronger with every step they take together.