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Drawing from recent related research, this paper analyzes the cognitive, physical, and social benefits of dance for geriatrics. By comparing studies involving both dance and geriatrics from around the world, as well as collecting original data, this work suggests significant positive effects when people age 65 and older participate in regular dance activity. Given the U.S. Census Bureau’s estimate that the number of people age 65 and older will outnumber children under 18 for the first time in U.S. history by 2034, the need for dance for older people is reaching an all-time high. As more long-term care facilities, community centers, and retirement homes begin to see the need for this type of activity, it is important to offer guidance; effective dance class structure, length, and frequency is discussed. When everything is considered, dance can clearly be seen as a vehicle for social, emotional, and physical healing within the geriatric community.

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This Paper was selected under double-blind peer review as one of the best academic papers in dance of by a review committee consisting of members of the LMU National Dance Education Organization Student Chapter, Dance department students, William H. Hannon Librarians, Dance faculty and an external scholar.

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