Posts Tagged ‘senior dance’

Tap Dance Class with Roberta Kulik at the Oak Park Arms

Taught by Roberta Kulik, the Oak Park Arms’ monthly tap dance workshop takes place at 11:30am, Thursday, Sept. 13, at the Oak Park Arms, 408 S. Oak Park Ave.

The first 15 minutes features basic tap moves that can be done either sitting or standing. Kulik continues the class with 45 minutes of basic tap steps and routines. Tap shoes are welcome, though not required.

This type of dance is a left-brain/right-brain workout great for coordination, balance and memory.

The Oak Park Arms is a rental retirement community which provides independent and assisted living apartments and a full schedule of activities and services. Furnished apartments are also available for a short-term stay – a weekend, a week, a month or longer.

The workshop is free and open to the public. For more information, call Jill Wagner at 708-386-4040.

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Would seniors in Oak Park rather do sit-ups or dance?

Dancing at the Oak Park Arms Retirement Community“There are short-cuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them.” ~Vicki Baum.

Ms. Baum is right. Dancing also can be a short-cut to health – both physically and mentally. According to Brain Fitness For Seniors.com, dancing is a boon to health because it stimulates different areas of the brain. How? Well, it often requires learning new steps, and it keeps seniors connected to others. It involves balance, coordination, listening, rhythm, motion, emotions, and physical touch.

Present day seniors grew up dancing. There were grand, lavish ballrooms, and people in cities took the streetcars to dance the night away. Ballroom dancing was a popular choice for a date. Big Band orchestras under the batons of Tommy Dorsey or Harry James toured the country playing in these wonderful ballrooms.

Today’s seniors are still dancing. Seniors’ dances are everywhere, and there are even exercise classes of “seated” dancing. If an entertainer performs the “old favorites” at a senior center or assisted living community, the audience instantly responds with toe-tapping and probably a rush of memories.

Health-wise, a dance routine for older adults can improve fitness in a low-impact way. More specifically, the physical benefits of dance from Ehow.com include:

  • Improves cardiovascular fitness – Even light dancing will increase the heart rate and give the heart a good workout.
  • Builds muscles – Through dance, seniors work their muscles and help to combat the effects of age.
  • Improves social outlook – By joining a dance class—no matter what type of dance—they can enjoy the company of being with other dancers.
  • Increases balance and control – The improved balance that comes from dancing helps prevent slips and falls.
  • Increases bone mass – Both men and women begin to lose bone mass as they age, leading to more broken bones when they fall.
  • Improves flexibility – A good dance workout will include stretching time which can help senior citizens increase flexibility and reduce muscle aches.

Again, from Brain Fitness For Seniors.com, by improving the social interactivity of seniors, dancing increases social harmony, understanding and tolerance in the community which is important because aging requires people of sometimes diverse backgrounds to live closer together in retirement homes and communities.

Music and rhythm have measurable effects on the brain and are the subject of multiple studies of brain-fitness benefits in both the young and old. Listening to music itself can have clear effects on the brain, stimulating different areas, changing brainwave patterns, and relieving stress.

Some believe that just watching dance stimulates the brain – mental stimulation that may be almost as powerful as performing the activity first hand. Even seniors who are too physically restricted to move freely can still participate and gain brain fitness benefits from social dance groups.

In summary, the lyrics of country music star Lee Ann Womack’s signature song say it all:

“I hope you still feel small when you stand behind the ocean.
I hope whenever one door closes, another opens.
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
and when you get the choice to sit it out or dance…
I Hope You Dance.”

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18-piece Freenotes Big Band performs for seniors in Oak Park

The Freenotes Big Band will perform at a dance at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 28, in the Grand Ballroom of the Oak Park Arms, 408 S. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park. Refreshments will be served.

Freenotes Big Band

The Freenotes is an 18-piece band that plays music from 1940s through the 1960s. The name “Freenotes” originated 30 years ago when the band’s founder, the late Art Mertz, gathered a few musical friends to perform at an outdoor fundraiser. The group didn’t charge – hence The “Free”notes. The musicians had a blast that day, and the band has been growing ever since.

Today’s 18 members range in age from 30 to 70. They perform in blue blazers with red ties. Twenty year Freenotes’ member Ron Chocola is the band manager, taking care of bookings and other business tasks. He plays trumpet in the band.

“This is the very first time we’ve played at the Oak Park Arms,” Chocola said. “We have a repertoire of several hundred songs, all very danceable. We play at concerts, parties and dances such as the one at the Oak Park Arms.”

Another member of the band – Dr. Bob Beiter – has his business, CAA-The Hearing Place, located within the Oak Park Arms, so he knows many residents.

The Oak Park Arms is a rental retirement community which provides independent and assisted living apartments and a full schedule of activities and services. Furnished apartments are also available for a short-term stay – a weekend, a week, a month or longer.

The program is free and open to the public. For more information call Jill Wagner at 708-386-4040 or visit http://www.oakparkarms.com.

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