The Dancing Minds Project

Research has found that a physically active lifestyle can protect against cognitive decline and dementia, however, the optimal type of physical activity/exercise is as yet unknown. This study, led by researchers at University of Western Sydney, and involves researchers from the Australian National University, the University of Sydney. It will evaluate a novel proposal that simultaneous engagement in activity that is multi-dimensional and synergetic in nature – such as dance, can prevent cognitive declines in late life. Dance is a complex sensorimotor activity combined with cognitive, social and affective dimensions. A randomised controlled trial will be conducted to evaluate the efficacy of a social dancing program for improving cognitive function in older adults. The project is funded by an Illawarra Retirement Trust (IRT) Foundation grant.