Tango to slow down onset of dementia
People's Association partners pilates studio to teach tango as therapy
Can dancing slow down the onset of dementia?
The People's Association (PA) certainly believes so as the organisation is partnering with Ms Julina Halim, co-founder of new boutique pilates studio The Better Movement Studio, to pilot an Adapted Tango programme to do just that.
It takes place at PAssion WaVe @ Marina Bay every Wednesday from Nov 21 till Dec 12, and those with special needs and their caregivers are encouraged to take part in the activity.
In Singapore, an estimated 50,000 people are living with dementia and this number is set to double by 2030.
Ms Julina has experience in behavioural coaching, pilates-based corrective exercises, dance (Argentine tango, ballet and jazz) and corporate training and development. She is also a nutritionist.
Her studio specialises in pain management postural issues, injury management and women's health and fitness.
Ms Julina, 43, told The New Paper: "PA has been proactive and progressive in bringing more programmes to our community and has been the go-to organisation for a wealth of accessible community engagement programmes.
"We found a lot of synergy in our beliefs, especially towards the positive attributes of Adapted Tango for our community."
According to here, tango therapy is the application of Argentine tango and some modified forms of it - based on the individual's needs - in an array of conditions.
The psychotherapeutic use of movement and dance allows the person to engage creatively in a process to further their emotional, cognitive, physical and social integration.
The movements reflect an individual's pattern of thinking and feeling, and this may have positive effects for those with dementia, like delaying cognitive deterioration, improving mood and increasing social interaction.
She added that there are different groups around the world conducting programmes and research in its application in autism, depression, anxiety, insomnia, Parkinson's disease, heart disease, cancer, post-stroke recovery or simply movement impairment due to ageing and degeneration.
Ms Julina first studied with two tango teachers in Buenos Aires who are also dance and movement therapy practitioners working with people suffering from Parkinson's disease and mental conditions in a psychiatric hospital.
She said: "The core of tango is connecting and moving with another person. To tango, one needs to be able to balance, as tango is a walking dance. One is constantly standing on one leg, and move to the next, together with another person.
"Clinically, improvement is seen in gait, bradykinesia (slowness of movement), balance, reduced fear of falling, reduced freeze of gait, self-reported health-related quality of life, social engagement and interest and willingness to continually participate in the programme."