A new study led by a Colorado State University researcher shows that dancing can actually be good for your brain.

The research team demonstrated for the first time that decline in the brain’s “white matter” can be detected over a period of only six months in healthy aging adults. On the bright side, a group of test subjects who participated in dance classes during that time actually saw improved white matter integrity in an area of the brain related to memory and processing speed.

Aga Burzynska, an assistant professor in CSU’s Department of Human Development and Family Studies, and her fellow researchers found that dance training appeared to have a positive effect on that part of the brain.

A paper on the findings was published March 16 in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience.

The study was funded by the NIH’s National Institute on Aging and the Center for Nutrition Learning and Memory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, granted to Arthur F. Kramer and Edward McAuley of the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health at the University of Illinois.