last updated January 1, 2021
“Are you kidding me?”
“Nonsense. I’m a senior citizen. I’m too old for dancing.”
“I can barely get up and walk. How am I going to dance?”
I’m sure you’ve either heard that or thought the same thing when ever elderly dancing has been mentioned.
Am I right?
Being elderly has nothing to do with being able to dance. And, have a LOT of fun doing it.
Now, we’re going to show you why:
“But, I’m elderly. How am I supposed to dance if I can barely walk?”
“Elderly dancing? Yeah. Right. If you’re Fred Astaire.”
“How can you possibly say: ‘Anybody Can Dance?”
Yes. I’ve been shot at a LOT whenever I first mention elderly dancing to older seniors.
And, that makes some good sense if you think in terms of “Dancing With the Stars.” Right?
But, that’s their dancing. Not ours.
Elderly dancing is as different from that type of dancing as Tango is to Jitterbug. Or, Swing is to Ballet. We have elderly dancing.
When we begin to understand what “elderly dancing” really means, a whole new world of Joy opens up to us.
Let’s take a look at what the Encyclopedia Britanica has to say about what dance is:
“Dance, the movement of the body in a rhythmic way, usually to music and within a given space, for the purpose of expressing an idea or emotion, releasing energy, or simply taking delight in the movement itself.”
“Simply taking delight in the movement itself.”
That is all “Dancing” means. Moving your body (any part of your body), to music and taking delight in the movement itself.
You have your body. I have mine. She has hers. AND, we can all move one way or another. That’s all we need to “Dance”!
That’s right. Just as you are. Right now. It’s doesn’t matter if you have no limitations or many. Whatever you can move, you can dance with. Get it?
Getting a little excited?
I hope so.
You know, I think everybody loves music. Some kind of music. I really don’t know, or have not met, anyone who did not enjoy some type of music.
And, every type of music has a flow. Something to move with. A rhythm. A tempo. A pulse.
That feeling of flow, of rhythm, is what we move to. The thing we tap our foot to. It doesn’t matter how elderly you may be: As long as you can move any part of your body, you can dance.
Here’s a 97 year old, with a cane, dancing with her grand daughter. Take a look at how much fun this can be. See the smile on Granny’s face?
Now, maybe you are a bit more challenged. That’s OK. Let’s take a little inventory here so we know what our elderly dancing will be.
If you confined to a chair, or, a bed:
If you answered YES to any of these questions, you’re ready to dance!
ANYTHING that moves is what you will be dancing with.
If you can only tilt your head side to side and wiggle your fingers: You can dance!
We’re not competing with anyone here. No one is watching. We’re just moving to music we enjoy, in any way we can, and having some fun!
You can enjoy moving to any music you like.
If your legs can hold you up and propel you around, even in the smallest way, you can dance with others!
If your legs are strong, well then, you can go take classes!
If you just want to stay home and dance by yourself, that’s awesome too. Rock on!
Here’s the most important point:
Did you know:
Dancing, taking delight in moving any part of your body, to the music, is one of the best things you can do for yourself?
Yes. It’s that good.
Yes. EVERYTHING improves. It’s not just our opinion.
Take a look at this great short article from aging care.com: “5 Major Benefits of Dancing”
Even The New York Times calls dancing “The Kale of Exercises” (Kale being one of the most super nutritious foods on the planet.
And, besides all those benefits, do you know what the very best part about elderly dancing is?
No matter how elderly you may be. Or, how limited your movement may be. Just Dance!
Yes, dancing is the best senior exercise in the world. And, it's not just for seniors, but for elderly senior citizens as well.
A lot of seniors take dance lessons. I mean A LOT! I didn’t start Tango until I was 58 years old. Today at 68 I’m still dancing Tango. Very well, I may add. (no humility here at all…..).
OK. I’m not elderly yet. But, my friend Phyllis Sues is. She just turned 97 and she is still dancing Tango! Very well too.
Here is a Video of Phyllis dancing at the age of 92! Take a look:
That was a style of Tango called “Tango Nuevo”. It is the most complex and most difficult of all.
Now, of course we’re not all going to be that able at 92. I just want you to be inspired, and know: We’re never too old to dance. Even if we're just sitting in our chairs.
Didn't that one look like fun? Like one you could do?
Elderly seniors that are able enough can take dance classes or private dance lessons.
For the more weak and fragile, dance at home. By yourself. Or, with some companion. Even if you both are just sitting in chairs and swaying to the music.
It can be the best part of the whole day.
Remember: Even if you are confined to your home, even if you can’t stand up, if you can move, you can enjoy and get all the benefits from elderly dancing.
You now have no excuse!
Ugh! What a kill joy that one is.
I want you to forget about the word “elderly”. Forget about another one too: “age”.
You know, in our lives, when we are very young, one of the first things we hear when we want to try something is this: “You’re too young.”
Now, we hear this: “Oh Momma (or Poppa), you’re too old.”
Get out of my way! Please.
Forget that nonsense. No matter how elderly we get, if we’re still breathing, we’re not too old to dance!
So: Put on some of YOUR favorite music, and move. Any way you want to. Any way you can. Have some fun! Then, please, send me an email and tell me how you feel.
For a Happy and More Independent Tomorrow ~ William