Tango, Health and Well-Being

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Probably every dancer looks for something slightly different from tango, and offers something a little different to it.  You might become hooked on the music, on that mysterious connection with a partner, or even on the shoes.  It might also help you stay fit.  For some of us, tango forms an essential component of well-being. 

Many studies have demonstrated the benefits of dance in general, and Argentine tango in particular, for people with particular health needs.  Teachers and dancers in Cambridge discovered for themselves the profound benefits for people with Parkinson’s disease.   Ellie McKenny, John Connatty and Kate Swindlehurst worked together to explore the impact of Argentine tango on Kate’s experience of Parkinson’s and recorded what they’d learnt, first in an article which was published in the Spring 2013 issue of Animated, the magazine of the Foundation for Community Dance.  You can read the article ‘Tango and Parkinson’s: the view from the dance floor’.

Kate says: We didn’t stop there, but went on to write a book about our experiences.  Dancing with Kate is still out there, looking for a publisher.  You can read more about the book on Kate’s website.

In March 2013 Kate was contacted by Marie Vejvodova, a broadcast journalism student who wished to use Kate’s story in a short documentary on dance and Parkinson’s, for her final MA assessment.  Both trailer and film were completed in the summer.  The trailer can be seen above. 

Cambridge Tango aims to offer a supportive environment for all.  If you are interested in tango, either as a beginner or a more experienced dancer, and have particular needs, we may be able to offer support that will enable you to enjoy a mainstream class.  And if you have any information or links that may be useful to others, do get in touch.  We’d love to hear from you.  

You can watch the 15  minute film by Marie Vejvodova here

 Further reading:

American research findings on Parkinson’s Disease

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