It’s never too late to dance. No matter your age or ability – dancing is for everyone. The sky’s the limit, as we have seen with PEP (Programs for Exceptional People), with our youth ballroom, with our senior citizens, our Parkinson’s group, Wounded Warriors, and many others.
Some time ago, we at the Hilton Head Ballroom Dance Studio were approached by the Cypress, specifically the Preston, which is the skilled care center, because a resident had requested a dance program with nostalgic music.
So, co-owner Armando Aseneta answered the call and started a dance program. He began with just some chair movements until he knew what they were capable of doing. He wanted to see who was able to get up, who was able to complete steps, etc.
Armando started with small steps, moved to bigger steps, then more free movement – and even began adding turns. Some folks are to the point where they can complete an entire song. Their stamina is improving.
Many have advanced to actually doing a box step, which is the basis for rumba and foxtrot.
Armando has carefully chosen the music he uses, playing songs from the Frank Sinatra, Andrews Sisters and World War II era. Many of these songs hold a lot of meaning and memories, and reminiscing is part of the experience.
Along with the memories come the physical and mental challenges. This is not a gym – it is gentle full body exercise that encourages people to use their minds to create the dance. On top of that – it doesn’t even seem like exercise because the music takes the work away.
It doesn’t matter what the ability level is – everyone can participate by clapping, singing, moving in the chair or moving on the dance floor.
“It was so rewarding to meet not only people who have danced before, but also those who have never danced and thought they never could or would,” Armando said. “It means so much to me that these people are so enthusiastic and willing to learn. I was so inspired that I have every intention of continuing and building this program.”
Wherever you are, whatever your age, whatever your ability, never miss an opportunity to get involved with any sort of dance program in your area.
As I have said before, dancing is for everyone.
Sandro Virag is a partner and instructor at Hilton Head Ballroom Dance Studio of Hilton Head, located in Bluffton at Seaquins Ballroom. hiltonheadballroom.com