Let's Do It
Mary and I have just returned from the islands
and are still getting all the beach sand out of our
shoes. We sent you a couple of cards from Kauai and
Honolulu; hope that you received them.
Well, the purpose of our trip was to share the
beauty of the dance with some under served
recipients and stimulate with interactive wellness
oriented activities which we called "The Diversity
of the Dance". Attached are several pictures and an
email we received from one of the facilities.
Our dancing features included Swing, Tango,
Waltz, Cha/Cha, Flamenco and a Hawaiian Hula all
complimented with original costumes. We always
invite the audience to dance with us in their minds;
men with Mary and the women with me. The interactive
selections included "Doctor, oh Doctor" which
emphasized the importance of getting all your
questions answered by the doctor, positive attitudes
and it's never too late to start a movement program;
an example of which was a tap dancing routine to
Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy; wow!
Another skit was a Fred and Ginger routine
from the movie Swing Time where Fred is trying to
learn to dance and slips, struggles and eventually
falls down. Our emphasis was the song, "pick
yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over
again". In life we must continue to address this and
so this was a funny reminder. Glenn Miller was the
most popular big band in the band surveys that we
conducted so his band was used to initiate a
movement activity. The groups were broken down to
rhythm section, trumpets, trombones and sax sections
"playing" The Saint Louis Blues March. I became
Glenn and conducted the number giving each sections
solos; it was very popular and all I could see as
the leader were laughing, joyful and young faces.
It is so easy to move when we are having fun!
We did 12 presentations and many ballroom
lessons at nursing and retirement facilities, senior
centers and one Alzheimer unit. My partner Mary did
all the design and made all the costumes that were
used for this program and all the choreography for
the dance numbers; such a talented lady!
Since this was the 25th year of our outreach
programs, we will think carefully about whether we
will try again; oh heck why not?
Mary Petersen and Steven Behr
Above statement from Mary and
Steve both seniors and both active in promoting
dancing where they live in Washington State. What
Mary and Steve accomplish is far and above what many
seniors would even attempt at their ages.
Many seniors give up doing marvelous things
when they hit seniordom as I named it. We cannot
give up else we become old people and old people are
what we thought our parents and grandparents were
when we were young.
Seniors now days dance,
drive, do and do
more. Many volunteer their time helping needy kids
to learn to read and to learn to love reading. Many
seniors still work out of necessity and do their
jobs well. Many like Rene and I write and try to
encourage everyone to dance. Rene writes and manages
a glorious website, what you are reading this on
now. I write to embolden us 'old folks' to go out
and do it. When we were teens and a bit older, 'do
it' meant something else,
even in those times before the so called sexual
revolution. Rene also teaches dance and shows us
oldsters that dance can enhance our lives. Rene is a
glorious senior and proud to be one. So am I.
I love angels. Now I know
there are no real ones but it is still nice to
imagine that one looks over our shoulders and helps
us to cope, to succeed and to be healthy as we can.
I made up an expression. This is it. There are
angels with golden hands. There are angels with
golden feet and there are angels with golden words.
I complimented my hair stylist (formerly known as
hairdressers) and told her when she finished doing
my hair yesterday and it looked especially
wonderful, that she was an
angel with golden hands. Her eyes teared up and she
thanked me and said no one ever said that.
So we who dance have golden
feet (even though many of us have hammertoes,
bunions and etc from dancing) and it is well worth
the fantastic times we have dancing.
We who write and express our self about our
dear dancing desires and devotion are angels with
People like Steven and Mary
are golden seniors when they go to Hawaii and
present dancing shows to people who may never have
had the experience of viewing a dancing exhibition
or even to learn a few steps.
Let us all become golden
seniors ( as my columns have been called for over
twenty years.) We will remain golden folks and show
other people that seniors are alive, well, happy,
healthy and delightful. LET'S DO IT AND I MEAN
Elita Sohmer Clayman