Active retirement communities organize recreational events for residents to keep them social and healthy. In a recent article, we discussed studies that demonstrate the cognitive benefits of exercise, specifically dancing for seniors. The New England Journal of Medicine reported a connection between dancing regularly and decreased risk of dementia. Additionally, a 12-week study conducted by the University of Maryland School of Public Health showed more efficient memory recall in subjects who routinely participated in aerobic exercise. A handful of seniors have taken to the world wide web to showcase their dancing spirit that hasn’t wavered with age.
A song called “Happy” by rapper and producer Pharrell Williams has launched an international video trend based on sharing happiness through moving and grooving. Williams made a 24-hour music video for the song that featured four-minute segments of random people dancing gleefully across Los Angeles. He recorded pedestrians of all demographics, from children to the young and fabulous to the elderly. Soon people around the world were posting their own happy dance, including seniors. Seniorplanet.org compiled some of the dance videos that older people have created in response to Pharrell’s call to be happy.
Hip Op-eration Crew
The World’s Oldest Hip Hop Dance Group took the world by storm in 2013 when they hit the stage at the World Hip-Hop Championship Finals in Las Vegas. The crew consists of twenty-four senior citizens between the ages of 67 and 95 who all live on Waiheke Island off the coast of New Zealand. According to the group’s website, there are four members who use mobility aids, several who are deaf, one who is legally blind, and 11 people over the age of 80. A full-length documentary about Hip Op-eration is expected to have a worldwide release later in 2014.