Dancing the Tango defeats Parkinson’s disease and restores fluid movement

“Dancing the Tango has been the very best medicine for my Parkinson’s Disease (PD),” says 77-year-old Rick Hilgers, who has had PD for 10 years. In this video Mr. Hilgers dances a Tango with his beautiful instructor, Olga Agafanova, in a performance at the Pacific Grove Dance Winter Showcase in Pacific Grove CA on December 7, 2013. After taking one ballroom dance lesson per week for 1 ½ years, Mr. Hilgers began taking private Tango lessons 2-3 days per week 4 months ago. At that point his PD still impaired his gait, balance and posture and he walked with small steps, a shuffle, a stooped back and some freezing. Despite surgery one month ago (to repair a trumpet playing caused hernia) and continuing sciatica pain (from lumbar spine degeneration), he danced beautifully, a testimony to the merits of dance, especially Tango, as an agent of recovery from the degenerative effects of Parkinson’s.
(A report of neuroscience research findings that Tango can improve balance, difficulties in movement initiation, directional changes and overall functional motor control can be seen at: ).

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