Physical fitness and social interaction can be difficult to keep up in old age. However, new research revealed in Frontiers in Psychology shows that Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) could promote exercise, improve quality of life, and strengthen familial connections between grandparents and grandchildren.
In a study at the Kibbutzim College and the University of Haifa in Israel, sixteen dance movement therapists met with their grandmothers for three free-form dance classes. The aim was to find out how these classes would influence every group, and whether or not intergenerational bonds might strengthen as a result.
The research wanted to examine a potential low-cost methodology to treat issues generally faced by a growing older population, resembling depressed temper, and limited mobility.
Shuper Engelhard analyzed taped videos of the periods, private diaries, and semi-structured interviews between granddaughters and grandmothers to analyze the impact of DMT.
She found that for grandmothers, dancing promoted positive emotions and improved temper. For granddaughters, dancing shifted their perspective of aging and allowed them to process their grandparent’s eventual demise.
Dancing was selected as a novel and versatile intervention since it may well improve muscle energy, balance, and endurance, stop anxiety and depression, and aid with dementia—all issues faced among the aged population.