The Japan Times (October 6, 2011): Tango Therapy Helping Seniors Keep Fit, Alert

Publication Date: 
Thu, 10/06/2011

With more people living well into their 80s and beyong, the problem of how to stay fit, alert and happy for as long as possible in their golden years has become important for both seniors and their caregivers.

Across the country, some nursing homes have introduced "tango therapy" to their residents and have achieved great success because the Argentine dance has an amazing effect of reinvigorating both body and mind.

According to some theories, dancing is good for senile people and those afflicted with Parkinson's disease. The quickening of the heartbeat that occurs in close contact with a dancing partner also apparently helps rejuvenate senior women.

One day at the Aioi no Sato nursing home in Chuo Ward, Tokyo, tango instructor Enrique Morales, 28, took Kiyoko Kinoshita's hands and the diminutive 96-year-old resident sprang out of her wheelchair.  She is dead serious as she dances across the floor with the tall Argentine leading the way.

Dancing has been her passion since she was a young girl. "I feel much more than just good when I'm dancing," says Kinoshita. "I simply get carried away."