For Parkinson's

As unexpected as it may seem, there has been a lot of anecdotal evidence over the years suggesting that dance, especially Argentine Tango, can provide significant benefit to people with Parkinson's and similar conditions. Perhaps even more surprising is that this anecdotal discovery has been backed up by a number of long-term scientific research projects, and these have begun to identify the actual mechanisms by which this works.

Argentine Tango is a dance that is mainly based on walking. The 'steps' of this dance are a consequence of moving your feet to remain balanced. The dance is improvised from a series of basic moves that you learn in the classes, you are moving in time with an external stimulus - the music - that varies its speed and cadence, and you have to work with your dance partner as you progress around the room. This combination sets it apart from most other dance styles and makes it very beneficial for people with progressive neurological conditions such as Parkinson's.

How Does it Work?

Parkinson's affects the brain by blocking or inhibiting certain pathways, especially those involved in movement and certain automatic functions such as balance. These pathways cannot (yet) be repaired, but they can be bypassed.

Dancing the Argentine Tango causes the brain to start finding new ways to do things. It creates new pathways in order to connect everything together. This neuroplasticity or 'brain adaptability' was previously assumed to be something that only children had, and that it was only a function of undeveloped brains that faded as we got older. But it has become clear in recent years that we retain neuroplacticity for all of our lives. In other words, as the saying goes, "it's never too late to learn".

But it is important to realise that neuroplasticity is not a one-time thing. In other words you can't just attend one tango class and expect to see the benefits for the rest of your life. If you think about it, that's no different to going to the gym to build up your stamina or your strength; if you want to see the best results you have to stick with it.

Jivebeat Tango for Parkinson's

We introduced the concept of Tango for Parkinson's in late 2017 after attending a training day for fitness and movement instructors working with people who have Parkinson's, run by Parkinson's UK somewhere in the wilds of Kent. Since then we have been developing our approach to teaching this dance style to bring the best benefit we can.

At the moment we have no fixed schedule for our Tango for Parkinson's classes and we are just popping them up as and where people express an interest. But we hope to start our first regular class soon, and all the information will appear on here.

If you would like us to bring a taster class to your group, or to find out more about Tango for Parkinson's then plese contact us using the contact form on this website.

Click the image below for a short demo of our Argentine Tango.

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