Tango Into Your 90’s

Naples Tango Studio is just that - a studio where you can go for lessons or just dance tango.

The very passionate lifetime tango dancer and instructor Helaine Treitman sat with us to talk about the value of dance, particularly the tango as it relates to older adults.

The 21-year study of senior citizens, 75 and older, was led by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, funded by the National Institute on Aging, and published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Their method for objectively measuring mental acuity in aging was to monitor rates of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease.

The study wanted to see if any physical or cognitive recreational activities influenced mental acuity.  They discovered that some activities had a significant beneficial effect.  Other activities had none.

They studied cognitive activities such as reading books, writing for pleasure, doing crossword puzzles, playing cards and playing musical instruments.  And they studied physical activities like playing tennis or golf, swimming, bicycling, dancing, walking for exercise and doing housework.

One of the surprises of the study was that almost none of the physical activities appeared to offer any protection against dementia.  There can be cardiovascular benefits of course, but the focus of this study was the mind.  There was one important exception:  the only physical activity to offer protection against dementia was frequent dancing.

  • Reading - 35% reduced risk of dementia
  • Bicycling and swimming
  • Doing crossword puzzles at least four days a week - 47%
  • Playing golf - 0
  • Dancing frequently - 76%.


Back at the studio as the night moved on, we were treated to real Argentine tango with a few men and women who have found that tango dancing helps them with ‘Father Time’ issues.

Incidentally, one of the gentlemen, Ephraim Shulman who is 68 years old, has Parkinson’s Disease.  He has found that tango helps him in a variety of ways. 
Also, Matt Grasso was happy to show us why all the women loved dancing with him.

This will be featured in the film in the section called “Use It or Lose It.” 

We thank Helaine for sharing her passion for dance with us.