SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) – You can dance to fight off dementia?

It may sound crazy, but a new study involving older adults found those who took dance lessons three times per week actually did better on speed and memory tests.

The demands of learning the moves and keeping up with the group improved their brain health.

At The Meadows activity center in Sarasota, a group of older ladies are tapping their way to some good, heart-healthy cardio.

Hearing about the study proving dance helps fight dementia is not shocking to instructor Bonnie Gray.

“The key is to use your brain and body together, and that’s where the memory benefits come in, so you have both muscle memory and memory muscle,” said Gray.

She said memory improvement comes next.

While the study used country dance choreography, really the kind of music and moves isn’t important.

Even beginners can tell the difference.

“It really provides focus and concentration, and all your muscle memory, when you’re a child, kind of comes back a little bit,” said Patricia Seymour.

The study concluded that almost everyone tested showed improvements on thinking tests.

But, learning to dance goes beyond that.

“I didn’t even know that I was unbalanced until I started dancing, and then I realized that each week that I come it’s better and better,” said Connie Brown.

Just a few dance lessons and most at least feel they are doing better.

“They notice it fairly fast. The first thing probably is that the notice that their balance is better,” said Gray.

Plus, learning to dance is also a great way to get out and meet people.

“I’ve met some lovely ladies here, and they’re fun. They laugh, they have a good time, and it’s a very positive environment,” said Seymour.

“It’s hard to be grumpy when your dancing,” said Gray.WHAT OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON-