Cortango Ensemble Performs for Seniors at Covenant Place

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Residents at Covenant Place retirement community recently enjoyed a tango inspired performance by the Cortango ensemble. Several seniors danced during the performance.

Prior to the performance, Covenant Place sponsored tango lessons for the seniors and they learned about the benefits of the dance during a health presentation.

“When music comes to Covenant Place, it’s like everybody wakes up,” Covenant Place Executive Director Joan Denison said.

Dr. Gammon Earhart, who is a professor of physical therapy, neuroscience and neurology at Washington University School of Medicine, led the health presentation.

According to Earhart, tango dancing can be “a source of external healing.”

“The evidence suggests that there are lots of ways people benefit from participating in tango.” Dr. Earhart said. “Whether it’s improving their walking ability and balance and reducing their likelihood of experiencing a fall, all the way through improving quality of life.”

The presentation, tango lessons and performance, are all part of the St. Louis SymphonyCares program. SLSO English Horn player Cally Bahnam, who is the Cortango band leader, said the best part about tango is the feeling it gives people.

“It’s just great when you combine the music with the movement,” Bahnam said. ‘It makes you feel young again.”

The performance also made Covenant Place visitor Harvey Altman feel nostalgic. He and his wife were among the seniors who danced during the performance.

“It brings back memories,” Altman said. “It feels good.”