Tango dance may lower depression and stress

Last Updated 19 February 2013, 18:09 IST

Tango dancing may help you get rid of anxiety and stress, and treat insomnia, a new study has found.

Researchers have found that just two weeks of lessons in the South American dance form tango leads to significant improvements in mood.

Australian academics found that tango - a partner dance - has significant health benefits for people experiencing mood disorders.

“Participants showed significant reductions in depression, anxiety, stress, and insomnia. Satisfaction with life and self-efficacy were significantly increased,” researchers said.
“At one-month follow-up, depression, anxiety, and stress levels remained reduced. A brief  programme of tango dance was shown to be an effective strategy in alleviating mood disorders,”. Researchers from the University of New England and Australian National University in Canberra recruited 41 people with complaints of stress, anxiety and depression, the Daily Mail reported.

The participants aged between 18 to 73, mainly well-educated and 80 per cent were women.

Clinical assessments were made to classify their symptoms as extremely severe, severe, moderate, mild or normal.

As many as twenty participants then took eight tango sessions of 90 minutes each over a two-week period, while the 21 in the control group were put on a waiting list for classes.
Most tango participants showed clinically significant improvement in at least one area, whereas those on a waiting list were stable or became worse.

They also reported less insomnia and better general life satisfaction, the report said.
A month later, all 41 people were asked to complete the survey again and the results showed the tango’s benefits in reducing anxiety, stress and depression still remained.
Researchers said tango requires ‘a strong connection’ with a partner, synchronisation and improvisation.

(Published 19 February 2013, 18:09 IST)

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