When a cruise ship entertainer on stage asked his audience, “Who here has been married the longest?” our friends Marge & Braxton won with 65 years. Asked to what he attributed the success of his marriage, without batting an eye Braxton said, “I went deaf.”
With their 70th coming up shortly, you gotta agree that’s nothing to sneeze at! They’re from Oklahoma so we gave a copy of our favorite country love song to give them – You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma.” Brax can hear the music on the CD but can’t distinguish the words being sung, so we also gave them the lyrics in print. The song was new to them, and they were instantly enchanted. They play it for everyone who drops by their house, and every night before they fall asleep (sometimes twice!)
Incredibly, at age 90 Marge was one of the first to sign up for our FREE line dance class when the pastor asked if anyone had ideas for a new activity. In their youth Marge and Brax were often mistaken as professionals on various dance floors, but now they both use canes and in spite of her admirable attempts, Marge soon settled for sitting it out beside the love of her life, to enjoy watching others learn dances such as Barroom Romeo, Shotgun Jenny, Cowgirl Twist, and Tango With the Sheriff.
Pastor John (a very cool guy who is both in and into the class) promoted it to his members but insisted it be open to those outside the congregation as well, without religious overtones or underpinnings. He gave us a classroom of our own, which we fancied up with a western theme. Some participants discovered aches or ailments that deterred them, but others have said they’ve had this or that condition improve since they’ve been dancing. Our classes include men and women, couples and singles, who range in age from teens into their seventies.
Why? You might ask. Why line dance? Here are eight great reasons:
1. You don’t need a partner.
2. It’s okay if you have two left feet.
3. You’ll burn calories, increase metabolism, and improve circulation.
4. You’ll produce endorphins, for more physical and mental energy.
5. Learning steps/combinations/dances stimulates the brain and improves memory.
6. You’ll meet the nicest people imaginable. (Grumps don’t line dance…)
7. You’ll enjoy a great sense of accomplishment and personal satisfaction.
8. You’ll laugh a lot, which reduces stress and slows the aging process.
Rule Number One in our Dance Hall is: HAVE FUN! It’s not about getting it right or doing it well. It’s about having a good time with good people, doing what’s good for you in time to good ol’ country music – which has a beat of its own and lyrics that are just plain down to earth. If there’s anything that helps you stop taking yourself and life too seriously, it’s country line dancing.
Forget hay fever because hey, line dancing’s an indoor sport. And that’s nothing to sneeze at!
Ginny Lucas is a consulting psychologist. Frank Lucas is a hypnotherapist and Chair of the FRESH Committee. They are volunteer instructors who’ve line danced for many years with many different teachers, throughout central CA. Their philosophy in this FREE class is, “If you’re having fun, you’re doing it right!” For more details, call (209) 477-5408 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.