Tandem Project

Tango Treatment: Dance and Mental Well-Being

Empirical Study

Simultaneously to the global crisis related to Covid-19, Lebanon has witnessed a sturdy economic crisis and political instability, collectively affecting the mental health of many. While professional counselling for mental health related symptoms can be very difficult to access, group activities combining physical exercise with social interaction promise a low-threshold approach to improve individual mental well-being. Research has shown that Tango Argentino, as a partner-based activity with interpersonal proximity, can promote positive psycho-biological reactions, reducing depression and stress levels.

This research project, therefore, constitutes an empirical study to assess the effects of Tango Argentino on the mental health of individuals based in Beirut. How can active participation in Tango Argentino promote mental well-being? What are the hormonal effects of different intensity levels of Tango Argentino classes?

Studying the impact of dance on mental health: A multi-layered approach

Based on a scoping review of experimental and quasi-experimental studies on the effects of Tango Argentino, a survey has been composed around three factors: emotional, psychological, and social well-being. These self-report surveys are complemented by collecting saliva samples to evaluate hormonal changes, in particular cortisol and endorphins, thereby examining the impact of Tango Argentino on biomarkers related to stress reactivity. With dance classes that vary in their duration between a one-day workshop and regular classes over several weeks, both the survey and the saliva samples serve to assess the effect of the Tango Argentino classes on the mental well-being of the participants.

As a pioneering effort in a research direction that is particularly understudied in economically less advantageous and fragile settings, the approach of this research project is to gather evidence on the impact of dance as a form of relatedness and connectedness with a promising impact on individual well-being.


Disciplines Involved
Process Engineering, Biochemistry, Education and Psychology
Cooperation Partner
Saint Joseph University of Beirut, Lebanon
Project Title
Dance of Hope: The Impact of Argentinian tango on Mental Health and Well-being in Lebanon
Funding Scheme
Tandem Project
Countries Involved
Lebanon, Germany