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Dancing A Vehicle For Senior Interaction

March 16, 2011

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Movies are full of the boy-meets-girl story in a high school gym, where a first dance leads to a relationship. And while that certainly happens at local schools, it also happens at the Sul Ross Senior Center in Waco. The difference is, the flirtatious couples are sometimes 60 or 70 years removed from high school. People like Earl and Betty Neugent.

The Young at Heart Dance Club is an example of a social connector for the senior community. It meets a variety of relational needs in the lives of its attendees. 81 year old Adele Strand says that some people come with that specific purpose.

Still others come simply to have a reason to go out, something not always readily availalbe when your kids live far away and your spouse is gone. Mildred Morrison finds that it provides a good balance with her church activities and provides her with a group of people to enjoy outside of their scheduled dance times. Bernice and Edward Vardacus have a more active social life than many college students. And they know they're missed when they're gone.

And there's more benefits than just the social. Although for many, it's hard to top the story of finding a spouse at the Sul Ross Center. But in addition to the company, there's also physical benefits. J.D. Cozort healed more quickly because his lifestyle is far from sedentary.

Physical, social, and emotional benefits are found at the Sul Ross Center by seniors who actively seek them out. It's an example of an outlet for seniors that improves the quality of life. But is it part of a broader network of options for seniors, or something that stands out because it's rare? In the coming weeks, we'll look at how seniors are and aren't getting their needs met, and examine what the region holds for the aging and the people who care for them. You can hear yesterday's story online at kwbu.org. For KWBU News, I'm Derek Smith.

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