Latina Seniors Salsa Dance Their Way to a Healthy Lifestyle
BAILAMOS, is a Salsa dancing class that helps Latina women boost their physical activity in a fun and interactive way. Because dancing is widely accepted and enjoyed among the Latino community, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) are looking at how a salsa dance class specifically designed for senior Latinas can help improve routine activity, cognitive function and overall mobility. Latinas ages 65-74 are much less likely than other seniors to participate in physical leisure-time activities, have more difficulty walking than non-Latino whites and develop symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease an average of seven years earlier. The project aims to reduce these health disparities by working with Latina communities and dance instructors to make physical activity more enjoyable, engaging and culturally-relevant for older adult Latinas.