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The benefits of dancing

Rochester, N.Y. -- If youre cynical about New Years resolutions, consider this.

At a local dance studio, the clientele has gotten a little bit older and a lot healthier. Ray Sparks looks like a polished dancer now and that might be because hes so patient.

My wife wanted to learn to dance for my sons wedding, said Sparks. So we took some lessons about eight or nine years ago. We feel in love with it, so we kept dancing and my son hasnt got married yet.

But Ray says the dancing is more than just fun, its improved his health too.

They say the key is to be willing to make a change, try something different, and the older we get, the more effective dancing can be on our joints.

Youre exercising two forms: your mind and your body, says Alicia Gruttadauria, owner of Astaire Dance Studio. So its considered one of the best forms of exercise, especially as people are aging.

At the Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Rochester, there are young customers but also plenty of older customers who came in with the hope that dancing would help heal them.

I had osteoporosis and my bone density scans improved from dancing, said Marian Louk.

Some lost weight; other found that dancing helped following a knee replacement.

I danced about five or six weeks after the surgery, and my physical therapist was over the moon about how well the dancing helped my progression, said Cathy Rausch.

So they keep dancing and Ray Sparks keeps wondering if his son will get married. But no matter, Ray will dance whether theres a wedding or not.

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Washington Times