Dancing Queens

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Like so many baby boomers, we grew up loving to dance, just like the generation before us. Dances were a  major source of entertainment all through my teen years. Not only did we have high school dances, but there were organized dances at so many other venues. Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday was usually spent on the dance floor. We either went with a date or with a group of friends knowing full well there would be someone to dance with there. American Bandstand was a staple for most teens, and we emulated their precision moves. bce286b1e1e6acf582e61af0e14cd1a4Girls and guys alike enjoyed dancing; after all, it was an easy way to meet someone and hold them close to you for the duration of a song. And who can forget rocking it out with a jive or “fast dance” as we called it?

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As I grew older and married, there seemed to be fewer opportunities to dance. Oh, there was always New Year’s Eve and the occasional sports dinner/dance evening or wedding, but it wasn’t the same. By the time my own kids were in their teens, there was only an occasional school dance, and kids seemed to have little idea about dancing with a partner.1a50b5e449a534d8edd1df901340ed88Remember how dancing was even a part of our physical education program? At clubs and bars today, most young adults just do their own thing and move alone to the music. I would venture to say that many younger people have no idea how to dance with a partner. The dance floor is more like a “mosh pit”.

Even though I was quite young, I still recall the movies with the likes of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.  38a711c984911b3be6257c3538cbb859They moved to the music as though they were one. I use to  love to watch my parents; my dad was an amazing dancer, but so easy to follow on the dance floor. It is such an extraordinary feeling to dance with someone who moves so naturally and makes up the steps as they go along. Occasionally, I see a couple dancing together and you just know they took lessons; it looks like the entire routine has been choreographed.

I really missed dancing. I must admit that there have been times when I slow danced around the living room alone when an old favorite came on the radio or rocked with the fridge door to a fast song. However, it’s not the same.

Fortunately, a while ago, I found an outlet for my dance itch. Our favorite pub holds a Karaoke night every Saturday. The music, of course, varies with the singers, but I must say we have an unbelievable array of talent that shows up every week. No night is ever the same! Best of all, we dance! Sometimes it is with each other, but some1923eec47f0ded06224fbe18af82f6d1times we find some guys who also like to sashay around the floor with us. And on very rare occasions, you find a guy who can really dance well. That’s the best!

And in the words of Abba, “You are the Dancing Queen, young and sweet, only seventeen
Dancing Queen, feel the beat from the tambourine
You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
See that girl, watch that scene, digging the Dancing Queen.”

Dancing keeps you young at heart, so grab every opportunity you can.

 

Thanks for reading,

Penny xo

By the way, if you are ever in my neighborhood on a Saturday night, come and join us at the Tartan Tavern (http://tartantavern.com/). We’d love to dance with you!

 

 

 

Olé, Olé, Zumba!!

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I told you I was a Rockette once.

We all know how important it is to stay active at any age. Before retirement, it was never my priority to be physically active. My life was physical enough with work, kids, cleaning the house, maintaining the yard and walking the dog. I was a single mom and had to do it all. There were a few times when I did join a gym with the intention of getting in better shape, but as the membership ran out, so did my interest and often my budget.

After retirement, I coasted along thinking little about exercise. I was more focused on filling my days to avoid boredom. I still had to maintain the house inside and out, and of course the dog demanded her daily stroll, but there was a lot more time available for eating and drinking wine with friends, so it is not surprising that my clothes started to feel tight in all the wrong places. In addition to that, my knees were feeling the onset of arthritis, and I worried  that I may join the people I knew who had to have knee replacements. I was determined to make some changes.

Several of the girls who had retired before me, were taking classes at our local senior citizen centre. The programs are extensive with numerous choices from yoga to swimming and tai chi to pickle ball. And yes, they even offer chair fitness for those with physical limitations.

I decided to check out some programs for myself. A few of my friends were already taking Zumba classes, so I decided to give it a try. Now for those of you who don’t know what this is I can explain simply. It is low-impact movement done to mainly Latin music. Classes are generally an hour in length. You can rest or modify the arm or leg motions  according to your own needs. I love music and I love to dance so it seemed like a perfect choice. 

Little did I realize how popular these classes are. Registration day, there we were lined up at 7 o’clock in the morning to ensure a spot in the class. It was like registering my kids for swimming lessons all over again. 

Just to make it fun, wear something that makes you smile. Here is something I chose.

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There is so much to choose from and it doesn’t have to break the bank. Try Joe Fresh for some great pieces.

Well, I have to say I am really enjoying Zumba. Of course it doesn’t hurt that after class we head to a nearby pub for a lovely chilled glass of wine and perhaps something to nibble on as well. The other patrons look forward to our weekly visits too, I think.

And if physical activity is not quite your “cup of tea”, there are many other activities to choose. Just get out and do something!

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The girls are going to be so jealous!

Thanks for reading,

Penny xo