Could the tango banish the blues?

Caroline Cassidy

It is well known that exercise encourages the body to release all sorts of feel good hormones, and according to new research, getting tangoed could help to banish the blues.

Tango could banish the blues
Tango could banish the blues

Pic: AP

Scientists at the University of New England in Australia recruited 41 people suffering with stress, anxiety and depression, and prescribed a course of Latin American dance lessons.

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And it seems the tango could be the key to improving your mood.

The 18 to 73-year-old participants, 80 per cent of whom were female, were each clinically assessed to determine whether their symptoms were extremely severe, severe, moderate, mild or normal.

Twenty of the volunteers then took a course of eight, 90-minute tango sessions over a two-week period, while the remainder were put on a waiting list for classes.

At the end of just two weeks, the majority of the dancing group showed significant improvement in at least one area of their symptoms, with reporting better general life satisfaction and less trouble sleeping.

Those on the waiting list either remained stable or worsened.

In their report, published in the journal Music and Medicine, the authors wrote: "Participants showed significant reductions in depression, anxiety, stress and insomnia. Satisfaction with life and self-efficacy were significantly increased.
"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."

The researchers believe the "strong connection" that is required with a partner for the sultry dance, may help those suffering with anxiety or depression to "focus on the present moment and mentally switch off from their feelings of stress and distress".

Do you suffer with anxiety or depression? Have you found a dance class alleviates your stress? Leave you comments below...