This week I had the special pleasure of bringing two of my granddaughters and my eldest son to one of our Dancing Heart sessions. I wanted them to see first-hand the joy that the Dancing Heart program brings to our participants.

We planned to do some tap dancing with the elders and, since my granddaughters take tap classes, I thought the folks would enjoy seeing the girls dance along with them.

But how do you get people in wheelchairs to tap dance you may ask? Mary, one of the Kairos volunteers, is a very clever creative artist and she came up with the idea of putting metal glides on pieces of Velcro which we then strap around the participants’ shoes. They tap their toes and the metal glides on a wooden floor sound just like tap shoes! The elders enjoy exercises that involve rhythm and counting and tap dancing is an excellent way to provide that kind of experience. Having them learn a dance routine is a fun way to provide cognitive learning. We danced our way through Tea for Two and several other songs which the participants enjoyed a great deal.

During the water break, my granddaughters did a couple of tap routines which brought big smiles to everyone’s faces. My son played several tunes on the guitar and we all sang along. It was a special joy for me to have my son and grandchildren be a part of the Dancing Heart and share in the joy of bringing happiness to the Dancing Heart participants. These elders, regardless of what their life situation is and what discomfort and pain they may have to endure, are positive and cheerful. They are wonderful role models for the younger generation.

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