1. Abreu, Mauro PT, DPT, GCS
  2. Hartley, Greg PT, DPT, GCS


Background and Purpose: Recent studies have looked at the effects of dance on functional outcomes for persons with balance, gait, and cognitive impairments. The purpose of this report is to quantify the effects of Salsa dance therapy on function, balance, and fall risk in a sedentary older patient with multiple comorbidities.


Case Description/Intervention: The patient was an 84-year-old woman with functional decline due to Alzheimer's dementia, late effects of a cerebral hemorrhagic aneurysm with right hemiparesis in the lower extremity, arthritis, and recurrent falls. Intervention consisted largely of Salsa dancing activities for 24 sessions over 12 weeks.


Outcomes: The patient showed improvements in range of motion, strength, balance, functional mobility, gait distance, and speed. During the course of therapy, 1 fall was reported with no significant injuries and 6 months postintervention the patient/caregiver reported no falls.


Discussion: This case describes the clinically meaningful effects of Salsa dance therapy as a primary intervention and its impact on functional recovery in a geriatric patient with multiple impairments.