A group of ballroom dancing instructors is calling for dementia patients to be referred to dance studios.

The Arthur Murray Dance Studios in Barnet has been campaigning for GPs to be able to refer people with dementia to dance lessons for treatment.

The studio has been speaking to Barnet MP Theresa Villiers about the possibility of using ballroom dance classes as a 12-week model for early intervention for onset dementia patients.

It also hopes the sessions will also be used for the rehabilitation of Parkinson's disease and stroke sufferers who are coping with the neurological effects.

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The studio believes dance will help dementia patients photo: Arthur Murray Dance Studios

The studio, which has more than 300 branches, found that dancing not only helps people physically but can also have positive effects on mental health.

Arthur Murray Studios London director Rio said: “I truly believe that social connections keep you healthy.

“It is incredible to watch a person’s confidence grow as their ability improves. They are sharper and appear more capable in the rest of their life, living with passion and purpose.

“It is obvious how social dancing improves the mind, but I believe when community and reduced loneliness is combined with this you have a person who is healthy and most importantly the happiest, they have ever been.”

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The studio also believe dance has positive effects on mental health photo: Arthur Murray Dance Studios

Research has found that a person’s mental health and well-being is linked to their persistence towards training the brain with cognitive therapy.

The mental co-ordination required by dance helps several regions of the brain such as the cerebellum, the somatosensory cortex and the basal ganglia which trigger rational, musical and emotional responses.

A study carried out by the New England Journal of Medicine in 2003 reported that positive effects of stimulating the mind by dancing helped reduce and sometimes stopped the onset of dementia.

The studio also believe that ballroom and social dancing has positive affects on mental health as it is linked to a person’s sense of community and belonging.

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The sessions can also be used for rehabilitation of people with Parkinson's photo: Arthur Murray Dance Studios

He added: “The research around the positive effects of ballroom dancing has on people with on-set dementia is astounding.

“If society take this on board and invest in prevention rather than dealing with symptoms, with dance, we can genuinely contribute to the cure and change the way in which we are ageing.”