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Seniors Dance Their Way To Health And Happiness

One young audience member said, “Adults should stop dancing after the typical college years, around age 22 or 23.”  Undoubtedly, many young people have claimed a state of embarrassment after seeing their baby boomer parents dancing up a storm at a family wedding reception or special event. Decades of research however, show that friendship circles that include dancing reduce stress, boost self esteem and ease anxiety about aging. Friends can be particularly beneficial for seniors because peers often share medical tips and encourage one another to stay healthy. Fifty three year old, Deborah McVay, decided to start dancing after having an aneurysm, heart attack and stroke all in the course of a year. Her doctors told her that if she survived, she would not be able to walk or talk again. Apparently, she made a pact with God that if she could ever move again, she would start dancing.

Many aging baby boomers haven’t had to experience health events as extreme as McVay did, but they’re finding that dancing not only has physical health benefits but is great for morale. Independent, retirement and assisted living communities already know that exercise and 70s disco is a winning combination. Many incorporate dancercise classes into their health and fitness programs as a way for residents to have fun while getting the physical benefits as well. McVay took her love of dancing one step further when she started the dance troop, Sassie Seniors out of Memphis, TN. She claims she has an alter ego, “Deyonce,” in admiration her younger counterpart, Beyonce. McVay and the eleven other members of the dance group get a chance to tap into their inner Beyonce with bounces, pops and shakes on stage. As the women perfect their struts and slides, youngsters frequently peak inside their rehearsals to watch the dancing divas who are young at heart.

dancing happy couple by *fahrmboy-stock on deviantART

The kids who frequent the South Memphis center look up to the Sassies, said group member Geneva “Soul Diva” Johnson, who is 50. “I think it lets children know that age ‘ain’t’ nothing but a number,” said Johnson. “We are living our life like it’s golden and cherishing each moment that we’re here.” Strutting in fishnet stockings and four inch heels, the ladies are regular performers at political events and charity fundraisers. They have also served as the halftime act at some high school jamborees and also perform liturgical dances.  However, it is the over 50 troupe’s tribute to Beyonce that is most popular. “The crowd goes wild because the first thing that people say is that they can’t believe that the older people are showing up the younger people,” said McVay.
Proving that baby boomers can still find the beat is the group’s gift to the world. Their enduring friendship is the Sassies’ gift to themselves. The women celebrate each other’s milestones at monthly dinners. The group supports their “sisters” during life’s challenging moments.

The Sassie Seniors are a great example of how embracing the aging process and taking   health issues into stride can make a positive difference in the quality of one’s life. Many boomers entering their retirement years may start experiencing some of the slow downs that come naturally with age, but it doesn’t mean they have to stop having fun. Many aging seniors in assisted living communities have conditions that require some assistance or extra help with some of life’s daily activities.  The extra support and security provided in assisted living allows them to participate in fun activities and enjoy life. As a Sassie Diva might say, “Chill and rock out.”

800Seniors.com is a leading referral system in the Elderly Healthcare industry. We are located on 5400 Atlantis Court, Moorpark, California 93021. 800Seniors.com provides the perfect match between seniors searching for health care provisions such as Home Care, Home Health, Skilled Nursing, Hospice Care, Medical Supplies, as well as a variety of Assisted Living Chicago and Care Homes nationwide. Take the confusion and hassle out of the search. For more information call 1-800-768-8221, visit http://800seniors.com or fax us your details at (805)517-1623.

About The Author: Gloria Ha’o Schneider is an expert in senior citizen and baby boomer issues. Her topics revolve around Senior Living and Healthcare to provide the latest information to this demographic as well as their families and loved ones.

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