Ballroom dance lessons for geriatric depression: An exploratory study

Amanda Haboush, Mark Floyd, Joshua Caron, Mark LaSota, Krisann Alvarez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Twenty depressed, community-dwelling older adults (average age = 69) completed a pilot study of ballroom dance lessons as a treatment for geriatric depression. Participants were randomly assigned to either an immediate or delayed treatment condition. All participants received eight ballroom dance lessons from a selection of six dances (foxtrot, waltz, rumba, swing, cha-cha, and tango) from the National Dance Council of America's syllabus. Effect sizes were in the medium range for the HRSD (d = .51) and GDS (d = .40), and in the small range for the SCL-90R (d = .17). There was some support for self-efficacy and hopelessness as outcome predictors. Participant feedback indicated the dance lessons were enjoyable and well-received.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-97
Number of pages9
JournalArts in Psychotherapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2006


  • Dance lessons
  • Depression
  • Exercise
  • Older adults
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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