Chaloir/Brigatti Method

For over a decade, Kristina and Julian have been working with students who were suffering from impaired movement due to neurological problems and/or traumatic events. There is accumulating evidence showing that Argentine tango has very real and specific benefits to those suffering from Parkinson Disease and other disorders impairing movement and gait.
In a clinical study led by Dr. Silvia Rios Romenets, (McGill University, Montreal) tango was proven helpful in significantly improving balance and functional mobility. She also discovered benefits in terms of patients' cognitive functions as well as a reduction in general fatigue. Argentine tango may be particularly helpful for improving balance and functional mobility in patients with issues such as Parkinson Disease as the dance requires steps that involve rhythmically walking forward and backward in synchronisation with a partner.

In addition, tango is a fully improvised dance that develops a fast working memory, control of attention, and complex multitasking in order to incorporate newly learned and previously learned dance elements. All these skill are necessary to stay in time with the music, and manoeuvre around others on the dance floor. Tango incorporates numerous turns and turn positions. The sequences involve movement initiation, postural control, turning, dynamic balancing, random perturbation, and termination. The characteristics of these movements are of tremendous benefit for patients with neurological issues.

The partnership element of the dance also helps patients with social interaction, because it is less structured, compared to other social dances. Tango is a therapeutic intervention technique for motor dysfunctions.
It is a rhythmic movement of the body to music, and this coordination of movement to music can be a critical part of therapy for patients with movement dysfunctions.The combination of both music and exercise maximises the function as therapeutic intervention.

Benefits of Chaloir/Brigatti Method

Mood disorders- stress and trauma

Several studies (Universities of Washington, Montreal, Melbourne,) prove that taking tango classes is the perfect way to alleviate anxiety, stress and depression, which is a major component in most, if not all serious illnesses .Researchers have discovered that just two weeks of tango lessons leads to significant improvements in mood. A study published in the journal Music and Medicine, has shown that dancing tango has significant health benefits for people experiencing mood disorders.


Tango reduces depression and anxiety

Dancing is exercise, and exercise releases endorphins that are your body’s “feel good” hormone. A relatively recent study posted on ScienceDirect notes that not only do tango dancers benefit by decreasing anxiety and depression, they also developed a more positive body image. Another study from the National Centre for Biotechnology Information looked at the effects of Argentine tango dancing on depression compared to mindfulness meditation. While the study concluded that both methods reduced depression, stress levels were only significantly reduced in the tango participants.


Tango keeps dementia away

A 2013 article in Psychology Today explains that dancing tango “dramatically reduces” the chances of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Both can affect cognitive skills, memory, social skills and the ability to complete simple daily tasks. Alzheimer’s can be deadly due to loss of functions.
However, the article pointed out that only freestyle dance such as tango (not choreographed) has these preventative benefits because it requires quick thinking that keeps your brain’s neural pathways strong. The article said that frequent freestyle dancing can reduce dementia by up to 76-percent.


Tango improves heart function

It’s possible to dance your heart out while helping your heart at the same time. Berkeley University explained that even people with chronic heart failure will benefit from dancing as much as from a moderate-paced aerobic exercise routine. The university noted that dancing improved heart and blood vessel function, as well as overall quality of life.


Tango improves balance

If you suffer from dizziness when you stand up too quickly, you may be able to correct the problem with tango. Psychology Today notes in a 2013 blog that those prone to dizzy spells (including the elderly) can benefit from tango—and explains that the brain structure of professional dancers is actually different from the average brain as a result of years of movement training. However, the blog assures that you don’t need to be a professional to get the benefits. This is backed up by a study posted on the National Centre for Biotechnology Information website that found subjects aged 58 to 68 taking part in tango-based training showed significant improvement in their balance compared to a group that did not engage in physical activity. It also noted dance can be a tool to prevent falls.


Tango boosts Your libido

A 2012 article in Huffington Post states that exercise is an effective way to increase sexual drive for middle-aged men. Not only will dance help men prone to diabetes lose weight, it will also help boost testosterone levels and dramatically reduce hypogonadism which is linked to erectile dysfunction.


Improves Social Connectivity

WorldHealth.net posted an article in 2009 that stated social dancing has benefits for seniors, as it “leads to continued engagement with life.” Social isolation can lead to depression and even TIME magazine notes that being “highly social” can cut risk of dementia by 70-percent. The World Health article goes on to state that dancing gives seniors an activity to focus on and something to look forward to on a regular basis. Dancing is a great way to cross barriers and connect different types of people, bringing them together towards a common goal. Not only that, the article explains that it can prevent symptoms of aging such as aches and pains.


Over the last 4 years, Kristina and Julian have been developing their own proprietary method combining tango sequences with other unique movements, such as complex rhythmical exercises, somatic based awareness exercises and combining tango movements with singing.  As well as their dance and music qualifications, Kristina and Julian have studied Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, psychology and herbal medicine and a variety of body awareness disciplines. This training and deep understanding of the body informs their method. Students using the method have demonstrated significant improvements in physical movement and cognitive function. The results thus far are exciting and very encouraging. This method is currently being studied and will be the subject of an upcoming documentary.

Dr Patricia McKinley discusses her research on Argentine Tango.

The Chaloir/Brigatti Method Workshops

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