How you can improve your brain by doing “The Tango” at Sunshine Coast Tango

How you can improve your brain by doing “The Tango” at Sunshine Coast Tango

Guess what folks it is now ‘Totally True’ … because a person in a white lab coat said so…. the McGill University research team at Quebec, Canada … where they do all seem to wear white lab coats….. have come up with…..


The elegant moves of Argentine tango dancing can benefit the aging brain.

They claim that by learning the elegant footwork that is essential to achieve “The Tango” you will assist your brain cells and naturally improve your balance.

With us baby boomers getting older…. ahhhhhhhhhhhhh…. yes I am one of them …. and there seems to be a lot of us…..


[As a side note] … RE Baby Boomers ….

If you figure that WWII ended around 1945, you could say that the baby boom started in 1946 (nine months later).

That would make the oldest boomers 67 years old.

As for the other end of the equation — when did the boom end? — we checked the Web for the answer.

It turns out that the boom lasted for 19 years, marked by a lot of babies around the world … but in 1964, the rate fell and thus the boom was over (and funny that seems to be the time that the pill came on the market… but that is another story).

So the youngest boomers currently would be 49 years old.

[End side note]


Now here is a fact that I did not know…. that about 33% of us oldies encounter a fall each year…(I am not going into … I think they may have been pushed ‘thing’ here) …and that 40% of hospital admission are due to fall-related injuries.

So … here it is… the pun of this story….. This news that doing ‘The Tango’ improves our balance is music to the health professionals’ ears.

And now for some more statistics….. it’s a sad one so have your tissues ready…. ….71% of seniors around the age of 65 now live on their own… and many of these spend more than 7 hours a day without any social contact of any kind.

This isolation, (ohhhh I hate that word) coupled with this inevitable relentless aging process, can lead to cognitive decline. Which is just a fancy way of saying you have lost your ability to think, concentrate, formulate ideas, reason and remembering.

But there is a light at the end of the tunnel…. and no
it’s not what you are thinking….

…this is what the white coat mop came up with….

“Our findings suggest that tango may be better than walking for improving the execution of complex tasks and the ability to move within a restricted area without losing one’s footing,” says McGill University School of Physical and Occupational Therapy professor Patricia McKinley.

They did a study where they a number of senior, aged 62 to 90. All were healthy individuals and each one of them had experienced a fall within the last year and had developed a fear of falling.

Now as all good researchers in white lab coats do … they had half the group do one thing and half do another as a control test sample case ….

This is what they call in the jargon talk of determine sample size for matched case-control studies with categorical exposure variable, Non-centrality parameters, with Ordinal exposure and use of likelihood ratio (LR) test, … (you can talk rubbish sometimes Duncan)

Half the group took up tango lessons and the other half just went walking.

Each group did this for ten weeks.

And now drum roll please…… the tango group showed more improvement in balance, posture and motor coordination, as well as cognitive gains, than the walking group.

They also performed significantly better than the walking group at performing a complex cognitive task while walking, standing on one foot, or turning in confined spaces.

Memory testing, however, was inconclusive, perhaps because the sample size was not large enough, says McKinley. (I was going to say something funny here … but it is happening to me too)

“Tango dancing is an ideal leisure activity for this population,” says McKinley. “It satisfies three basic requirements for exercise adherence: it’s fun, it’s a group activity, and it has a tangible goal that can be perceived not only by the dancer, but by his or her family and friends.

So if you find yourself in that age group …come along to Sunshine Coast Tango and learn how to improve your motor coordination!

(Source: McGill University)


Come learn ‘The Tango’ on the Sunshine Coast.

Duncan & Cath run and teach Tango at Tango Sunshine Coast and run the web site where you will find out all the information about Argentine Tango on the Sunshine Coast Tango.