Scientific evidence of Tango Therapy - NTT Tango Therapy

Go to content
Effect of Tango Therapy
In the studies below, it is shown that Tango Argentino in itself is superior to other types of dance, as well as compared to other movement therapies, in terms of therapeutic and health-improving elements. These elements include movement dissociation, dynamics, musical composition, breathing technique, non-verbal improvised couple communication and variation of rhythms (vals, milonga, tango). The effectiveness of Tango Argentinos has thus been scientifically proven. Neurotango with the NTT (Neuro Technical Tools) is a further development with extensions and specialisation on neurological and psychotherapeutic target groups.

Chauvigne, L.A.S., et al. (2018). Taking two to tango: FMRI analysis of improvised joint action with physical contact. PLoS ONE.

Constantini et al. (2020). Trossero tango therapy and psychological distress in female cancer patients: An Italian pilot study. In: Clinical and medical Investigations 20 /Volume 5

Hackney, M. E., Kantorovich, S. Earhart, G. (2007). A Study on the Effects of Argentine Tango as a Form of Partnered dance for those with Parkinson Disease and the Healthy Elderly. American Journal of Dance Therapy 29.

Hackney, Madeleine & Earhart, Gammon. (2010). Effects of Dance on Gait and Balance in Parkinson`s Disease: A Comparison of Partnered and Nonpartnered Dance Movement. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair 61 (6), 475-481

Koh Y, Kim IC, Noh G. Tango Therapy: Current status and the next perspective. J of Clin Rev Case Rep. 2018;3:1-5.

Quiroga Murcia, C. Bongard, S. & Kreutz, G. (2009). Emotional and Neurohumoral Responses to Dancing Tango Argentino. The Effects of Music and Partner. Music and Medicine 1, 14-21

Quiroga Murcia C, Kreutz G, Clift S & Bongard S. Shall we dance? An exploration of the perceived benefits of dancing on well-being. Arts & Health.2010;2:149-163.

Lötzke D, Ostermann T, Büssing A. Argentine tango in Parkinson disease-a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Neurol. 2015;15:226
Influence and significance of emotions on cognition and learning
In neurotango, effective learning of new motor, cognitive and behavioural patterns is of particular importance. Learning is particularly effective, or only made possible, through the factor of emotion. This factor is primarily offered through music, dance partner and group. Of course, space, smells, trainers etc. also play a role in creating emotional connections with the topic to be learned.

Ekardt, P. (2016). Certain wonderful gestures: Warburg, lessing and the transitory in images. Culture, Theory and Critique.

Ekman, P. (1992). An Argument for Basic Emotions. Cognition and Emotion.

Ekman, P. (1999). Basic emotions. Cognition.

Holmes, E.A., & Mathews, A. (2005). Mental imagery and emotion: A special relationship? Emotion.
Neurocognitive and neuromotor learning through movement
Besides emotions, movement is an essential factor for the brain to form new patterns. These new patterns can again be new movement patterns, "learning material" (cognitive elements) or behavioural patterns. Changes take place neuronally as well as cognitively and psychologically. Movement helps in the "experience" of new patterns. The more new learning patterns are linked (e.g. through experience with all the senses), the faster they can be learned and the longer they remain retrievable in the brain as information.

Bart,O., et al. (2012). Neurocognitive control in dance perception and performance. American Journal of Dance Therapy

Bläsing, B., et al. (2012). Neurocognitive control in dance perception and performance. Acta Psychologica.

Di Pellegrino, G., et al. (1992). Understanding motor events: a neurophysiological study. Experimental Brain Reserch

Barton EJ. Movement and Mindfulness: A formative Evaluation of a Dance/Movement and Yoga Therapy Program with Participants Experiencing Severe Mental Illness. Am J Dance Ther.2011;33:157-181
Meditative Movement Therapy
Neurotango® fulfils all criteria of a meditative movement therapy. Especially due to the multitasking of the participants (concentration on coordination, balance, steps, couple communication, music, counting, spatial orientation and the movement etc.), they are directly in a meditative state.

This means that the brain is working automatically in the sense perception network. This area has all advantages of a so-called "mindful meditation" as described in the studies below. It is not possible for the participants to think about everyday worries or problems during the training. This leads to a feeling of physical lightness and mental relief directly after a Neurotango® training session.

For many people it is the only possible way to achieve a meditative state. Mental relaxation while sitting or lying down and quieting the mind, is not attainable for them. Especially in quiet situations, the mind often plays out scenarios and brings up problems of everyday life situations, instead of experiencing a mental overview, new ideas and an overflow of creativity. This is what makes Neurotango® different. The participants very often develop completely new life concepts or find new solutions to their problems without the ability to quiet the mind on purpose. It just happens to them with Neurotango®.

Brefczynski-Lewis, J. A., Lutz, A., Schaefer, H. S., Levinson, D. B., & Davidson, R. J. (2007). Neural correlates of attentional expertise in long-term meditation practitioners. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104, 11483–11488.

Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2014). Flow and the foundations of positive psychology: The collected works of mihaly csikszentmihalyi (1st ed. 2014). Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands: Imprint: Springer.

Desbordes, G., Negi, L. T., Pace, T. W. W., Wallace, B. A., Raison, C. L., & Schwartz, E. L. (2012). Effects of mindful-attention and compassion meditation training on amygdala response to emotional stimuli in an ordinary, non-meditative state. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 6.

Goyal, M., Singh, S., Sibinga, E. M. S., Gould, N. F., Rowland-Seymour, A., Sharma, R., … Haythornthwaite, J. A. (2014). Meditation programs for psychological stress and well-being: A systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Internal Medicine, 174, 357.

Kerr, C. E., Jones, S. R., Wan, Q., Pritchett, D. L., Wasserman, R. H., Wexler, A., … Moore, C. I. (2011). Effects of mindfulness meditation training on anticipatory alpha modulation in primary somatosensory cortex. Brain Research Bulletin, 85, 96–103.

Kurth, F., Cherbuin, N., & Luders, E. (2017). Promising links between meditation and reduced (Brain) aging: An attempt to bridge some gaps between the alleged fountain of youth and the youth of the field. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 860.

Orgs, G., Dombrowski, J.-H., Heil, M., & Jansen-Osmann, P. (2008). Expertise in dance modulates alphabeta event-related desynchronization during action observation. European Journal of Neuroscience, 27, 3380–3384.

Pinniger, R., Brown, R. F., Thorsteinsson, E. B., & McKinley, P. (2012). Argentine tango dance compared to mindfulness meditation and a waiting-list control: A randomised trial for treating depression. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 20, 377–384.

Tang, Y.-Y., Ma, Y., Wang, J., Fan, Y., Feng, S., Lu, Q., … Posner, M. I. (2007). Short-term meditation training improves attention and self-regulation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104, 17152–17156.
Toneatto, T., & Nguyen, L. (2007). Does mindfulness meditation improve anxiety and mood symptoms? A review of the controlled research. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 52, 260–266.
Embodiment - the body as a medium for psychological patterns and external influences (holistic and psychosomatic effect)
The reason why we can bring about changes on a psychological, physical, neurological and social level with body movements, or rather through body movements, is what science calls embodiment. This means the transmission of movement or external stimuli via the body to the inside (e.g. psyche, organic or physical condition) and from the inside to the outside (posture and movement, communication, behaviour and reaction, physical symptoms of illness). Here we are at the holistic approach of Neurotango. We have been able to observe the effect and impact in countless cases and manifestations. Body movement undoubtedly produces a psychological and social effect on the outside.
It was particularly noticeable that the body language expression and the physical reaction to movements and partner communication could be traced back to innermost needs, talents, wishes, problems and character traits. This enabled the participants to directly bring about positive changes in the social sphere through their own body experience (how the body reacts in certain situations). Body language does not lie and gives a 1:1 authentic picture of the current physical and psychological situation.

This mechanism is particularly helpful in executive or business coaching.

Neal. D.T., &Chartrand, T.L. (2011). Embodied Emotion Perception: Amplifying and Dampening Facial Feedback Modulates Emotion Perception Accuracy. Social Psychological and Personality Science

Pulvermüller, F. (2013a). How neurons make meaning: Brain mechanisms for embodied and abstract-symbolic semantics. Trend in Cognitive Sciences

Pulvermüller, F. (2013b). Semantic embodiment, disembodiment, or mis embodiment? In search of meaning in modules and neuron circuits. Brain and Language

Herbert, B.M., & Pollatos, O. (2012). The body in the mind: on the relationship between interoception and embodiment. Topics in Cognitive Science.

Hindi, F.S. (2012). How Attention to Interoception Can Inform Dance/Movement Therapy. American Journal of Dance Therapy

Pillatos, O., et al. (2005). On the relationship between interoceptive awareness, emotional experience, and brain processes. Brain Research Cognitive Brain Research.

Seth, A.K. (2013). Interoceptive inference, emotion, and the embodied self. Trends in Cognitive Science.

Craig, A.D. (2002). How do you feel? Interoception; in sence of the physiological condition of the body. Nature Reviews. Neuroscience. Craig, A. (2003). Interoception: the sense of the physiological condition of the body. Current Opinion in Neurobiology.

Boulenger, V., et al. (2009). Grasping ideas with the motor system: Semantic somatotopy in idiom comprehension. Cerebral Cortex.

Critchley, H.D., & Nagai, Y. (2012). How Emotions Are Shaped by Bodily States. Emotion Review.

Cameron, O.G. (2001). Interoception: the inside story – a model for psychosomatic processes. Psychosomatic Medicine

Riketta, M. (2005). Cognitive differentiation between self, ingroup and outgroup: The roles of identification and perceived intergroup conflict. European Journal of Social Psychology.

Marmeleira, J. (2013). An examination of the mechanisms underlying the effects of physical activity on brain and cognition. European Review of Aging and Physical Activity.

Storch, Cantieni, Hüther, Tschacher (2017). "Embodiment - Wechselwirkung von Körper und Psyche verstehen und nutzen"
Neuroplasticity - The expansion/improvement of the brain in movement therapy and stimulation of human interaction
The areas that are most difficult to demonstrate and depict in the correlations are neuroplasticity and the expansion of synaptic connections. Especially since neurotango includes the effects of music, movement and non-verbal communication. Each individual area cannot be studied selectively from one another here and sorted by weight. Therefore, studies are available that have investigated the benefits and connection of neural enhancement with each area. All 3 areas (music, movement, communication), as well as rhythm, have positive effects on the neural network.

Bernhardt, B.C., &Singer, T. (2012). The neural basis of empathy. Annual Review of Neuroscience

Shebani, Z., Pulvermüller, F. (2013). Moving the hands and feet specifically impairs working memory for arm- and leg-related action words. Cortex.

Kringelbach, M.L., & Berridge, K.C. (2009), Towards a functional neuroanatomy of pleasure and happiness. Trends in Cognitive Science.

Ernst, J., et al. (2013). Interoceptive awareness enhances neural activity during empathy. Human Brain Mapping.

Müller, P., et al. (2017). Evolution of neuroplasticity in response to physical activity in old age: The case of dancing. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience.

Myers, N. (2012). Dance Your PhD: Embodied Animations, Body Experiments, and the Affective Entanglements of Life Science Research.

Critchley, H.D. (2009). Psychophysiology of neutral, cognitive, and affective integration; fMRI and autonomic indicants. International Journal of Psychophysiology; Official Journal of the International Organization of Psychophysiology.

Fukui, H., & Toyoshima, K. (2008). Music facilitates the neurogenesis, regeneration, and repair of neurons. Medical Hypotheses.

Fukushima, H., et al. (2011). Association between interoception and empathy: evidence from heartbeat-evoked brain potential. International Journal of Psychophysiology.

Ramon y Cajal, S. (1906). The structure and connexions of neurons. Nobel Lectures: Physiology or Medicine 1901.1921 (1976).
Read more....
You can also get more information in the textbook "Neurotango - Principles of Tango Therapy". You can order it on this page or in bookshops.
Owner: Kai Biermann
Schwartauer Allee 26
D-23554 Lübeck
Created by Simone Schlafhorst
Tax number: 22/104/61966
® is a European word mark of Simone Schlafhorst
Kai Biermann
IBAN: DE97 4405 0199 0632 1467 01


Back to content