Dance & Be Fit
Dance is one of the most popular social activities of older adults and is an important component of the Brite Wellness Program. We use the Dance (and be Fit)® classes developed by Roland Ford, a local legend in Pittsburgh. The classes are primarily line-dancing, that is high intensity, aerobic, fun, and engaging. This is important because there is growing evidence that dance, especially aerobic dance, can enhance brain and cognitive functions. Professor Yuan and colleagues reported that after a careful review of the scientific literature, “Dance activities can significantly improve global cognition, memory, visuospatial function, cognitive flexibility, attention, and balance in older adults with [Mild Cognitive Impairment].” Professor Zhu ran a 3-month long clinical trial that showed that “aerobic dance could increase the right and total hippocampal volumes and improve episodic memory in elderly persons with [amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment].” Thus, dance is an important component of the Brite Wellness Program.