According to scientists, Argentine Tango is literally addictive.

By Seriously Science | November 12, 2014 6:00 am
Photo: flickr/prayitno

Photo: flickr/prayitno

Here’s another entry to add to the list of things you can get addicted to: Argentine tango. This paper, a follow-up to a previous case study, reports the results of a survey of over 1000 online tango magazine subscribers. Based on these studies, tango can be classified as an addiction based on to several psychiatric guidelines. Although the consequences of this addiction were primarily positive, many dancers reported experiencing withdrawal symptoms when they didn’t dance, even including “sadness, feeling uncomfortable and leg prickling.” Maybe this finally explains the dancing epidemic of 1518?

Argentine tango: Another behavioral addiction?

“BACKGROUND:
Behavioral addiction is an emerging concept based on the resemblance between symptoms or feelings provided by drugs and those obtained with various behaviors such as gambling, etc. Following an observational study of a tango dancer exhibiting criteria of dependence on this dance, we performed a survey to assess whether this case was unique or frequently encountered in the tango dancing community.
METHODS:
We designed an online survey based on both the DSM-IV and Goodman’s criteria of dependence; we added questions relative to the positive and negative effects of tango dancing and a self-evaluation of the degree of addiction to tango. The questionnaire was sent via Internet to all the tango dancers subscribing to “ToutTango”, an electronic monthly journal. The prevalence of dependence was analyzed using DSM-IV, Goodman’s criteria and self-rating scores separately.
RESULTS:
1,129 tango dancers answered the questionnaire. Dependence rates were 45.1, 6.9 and 35.9%, respectively, according to the DSM-IV, Goodman’s criteria and self-rating scores. Physical symptoms of withdrawal were reported by 20% of the entire sample and one-third described a strong craving for dancing. Positive effects were high both in dependent and non-dependent groups and were markedly greater than negative effects. Long practice of tango dancing did not modify the dependence rate or reduce the level of positive effects.
CONCLUSIONS:
Tango dancing could lead to dependence as currently defined. However, this dependence is associated with marked and sustained positive effects whilst the negative are few. Identifying the precise substratum of this dependence needs further investigation”

Related content:
NCBI ROFL: People prefer dance clubs that smell like peppermint.
Flashback Friday: the mysterious dancing epidemic of 1518.
NCBI ROFL: Where do you score on the Facebook Addiction Scale?

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