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Missing the Hand You Hold

Dance for Brain Health?

A new opportunity to get moving!

In case you missed it, “Dance for Brain Health Classes” are underway! These classes have started at the Workhouse Arts Center, Art of Movement in Lorton. The classes are quite beneficial for anyone experiencing cognitive decline as well as those interested in prevention.

Research shows that the areas of the brain that control memory and skills such as planning and organizing improve with exercise. Dance has the added dimensions of rhythm, balance and music that enhance the benefits of simple movement. There are numerous studies on the benefits from the CDC and other organizations. For example, The Albert Einstein College of Medicine produced a study whereby the authors concluded that social dancing may be a “safe, enjoyable, and effective alternative to traditional physical exercise for preventing cognitive decline and reducing risk for Alzheimer's disease”. In fact, the study results showed that social dancing produced greater improvement on one of the tests than treadmill walking. Plus, dancing is fun!

A recent participant shares what it was like to join a class with her mom:

"You made such a great environment to come into and join. Mom had a great time and it was lovely and honestly refreshing for us to be able to enjoy each other doing something so fun... I look forward to future classes."

The classes, offered on Wednesday mornings from 11:30-12:30, include stretch and warm-up with a series of gentle stretching and warm-up exercises inspired by the principles of Brain Dance, preparing the body and mind, and creating a harmonious state for the dance experience that follows. Then, participants move into follow along dance where they groove to a fantastic selection of music spanning different decades. Following warm-up and follow along dance, participants move into guided improvisation when they move in their own way, expressing themselves freely on the dance floor. 

There are no wrong moves, just dancing from the heart!



Carol Stehl is the Director of Art of Movement, at Workhouse Arts Foundation, Inc. in Lorton. Art of Movement (AOM) is a boutique-inspired wellness program that offers group, private, and virtual classes taught by experienced, certified instructors. There's something for everyone at AOM - all ages and abilities! You can learn more by reaching out to Carol at 703-584-2965 or






"I like that IMCC focuses on dementia-related problems and provides a focal point for families to network and socially interact in coping with dementia. It provides a community that helps us in our struggle."