On his 80th birthday, the perennial playboy Hugh Hefner optimistically declared, “Eighty is the new 40.”
That’s a bit of a stretch but there is no denying that most seniors today are not just planted in rocking chairs. On the morning of June 18, the Redmond Senior Center (RSC) was definitely rockin’ as it hosted the Northwest Senior Games Dance Day, a non-competitive, recreational dance event to promote physical fitness and social interaction for adults ages 50 or better.
Middle-aged or older adults from all over the Eastside and Seattle carpooled or rode buses to the RSC, for a fun-filled morning of line-dancing to country and Latin music and/or an afternoon of ballroom dancing with live music by the Sophisticated Swing Big Band.
In-between all the dancing, a light buffet lunch was hosted by Fairwinds Retirement of Redmond.
And it’s no doubt these dancers worked up an appetite, strutting their stuff on the beautiful suspended hardwood dance floor of the RSC’s multipurpose room. Their energy and enthusiasm would put a lot of younger folks to shame.
“This is the most turn-out we’ve had in seven years of this event,” said Jayla McGill of Seattle Parks and Recreation, who helped to organize the Dance Day with the RSC’s Teri Burke.
“We come to places like this, on the Eastside, whenever we get invited,” said McGill. “Seattle has such a wonderful dance community. We have this at a different location every year and offer car pools and vans for those who aren’t comfortable driving outside of their community.”
This year’s Northwest Senior Games, which began in May and will continue through July, feature everything from ice hockey, track and field, swimming and fencing to tennis, badminton, pickleball and of course, the Dance Day.
“This brings a lot of people into our area from Seattle, the Northshore area, Renton and so on,” said Burke. “It’s exactly the kinds of sports and fitness that we like to offer to keep people active. And the dancing is non-competitive — anyone can try it.”
Line dance instructors for the Northwest Senior Games Dance Day at RSC were Linda and Paul Reese from Shoreline.
They showed beginners how to do an easy “Cut-A-Rug” dance and progressively added fancier footwork such as “Hippy-Dippy Mambo.”
Burke noted, “We don’t have a regular line dance instructor here but we have an interest group that meets here Wednesday afternoons from 1-3 p.m.”
The ballroom session for the Northwest Senior Games Dance Day was led by Teresa Osborn, who teaches a wide range of dance classes for Redmond Parks and Recreation and will once again help people of all ages to learn Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” dance for a special event at Redmond Town Center this fall.
Who’d have thought your grandma and grandpa might be into that?
But that’s a big mission of the RSC — breaking down age barriers and busting senior stereotypes.
To learn more about activities at the RSC, stop by and visit at 8703 160th Ave. NE on the Redmond Municipal Campus, call (425) 556-2314 or visit http://www.redmond.gov/insidecityhall/parksrec/recreation/seniors.asp