It is commonly accepted today that one in four people alive will survive beyond one hundred years of age. Given this shift in the average age of the population, it is essential that we develop education to enhance the quality and autonomy of an extended life. UNESCO appropriately denotes 2012 as ‘European year for active ageing and intergenerational solidarity’ and dance in all its multiple facets has a key role to play in delivering this objective.
Dance activity is a natural and accessible life-line for the elderly. Through appropriate dance techniques, regular activity may relieve rigidity in the upper-back, spine and pelvic area, reduce pressure and wear and tear of the joints, facilitate breathing and increase oxygenation of the body, improve circulation and elimination, aid digestion, stimulating the metabolism and promoting weight loss.
MD Mark Liponis, conducts pioneering research on longevity at Canyon Ranch Spa – he considers rhythmic exercise - dance, to be more beneficial to the body’s repair and regeneration than other a-rhythmic exercise such as team sports. He suggests that the activity of the immune system is key to the quality of aging and proposes that rhythmic dancing is fundamental to immune system control along with conscious ‘breathing’, ‘eating’ and ‘sleeping’.
In the ‘dance for longevity’® workshop we experience techniques appropriate for older dancing groups, addressing general conditions such as: arthritis, vertigo, high blood pressure, diminution of coordination and cognitive skills. The workshop integrates recent research and also presents dance techniques considered appropriate to address specific pathologies such as: Parkinson’s and Alzheimer.
‘dance for longevity’®
l'ecole superieure de danse, Cannes, Cannes Dance Festival 2011