The efficacy of exercise programs to prevent falls among older people is well documented in the literature. However, older people's adherence to these exercise programs has been reported to be suboptimal, varying between 21% and 74%. In addition, about 45% of people aged over 60 years do not meet the minimum recommended level of physical activity. In this context, dance is a promising alternative to traditional exercise programs, as it can positively influence important risk factors for falls, such as sedentary lifestyle, balance impairments and muscle weakness. Nevertheless, a recent systematic review conducted in this area show that the lack of randomized clinical trials as well as the low methodological quality of existing studies do not allow to reach definitive conclusions on the real effects of dance on risk factors for falls. A type of dance that is becoming popular among the older population in Brazil is the Senior Dance. Senior Dance classes consist of different choreographies, which include rhythmic and simple movements with rhythmic folk songs. The concentration required to learn the choreographies challenges balance, motor coordination and cognitive function. Thus the present study is a randomized clinical trial aiming to investigate the Senior Dance effect on balance, mobility and cognitive function, compared with a control group, among older people living in the community. A total of 82 subjects will be randomly allocated into two groups. The intervention group will participate in a 12-week, twice-weekly group-based program of Senior Dance, while the control will be encouraged to maintain their current routine activities. Outcomes measures (balance, mobility and cognitive function) will be evaluated before and after the intervention by an assessor blinded to group allocation. The results of this study will assist health practitioners when prescribing intervention for the older population.
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