By Jessica Handrik, Director of Education
As a rural state with one of the oldest populations in the country, Vermont and its nonprofit sector needs bold, creative thinking to remove one of the key challenges older adults often face: a sense of isolation from one’s community. At the Flynn, we welcome the assets only an older adult can bring to our stages and studios.
With our acceptance into the National Guild for Community Arts Education’s Catalyzing Creative Aging program, the Flynn joins a national movement to connect older adults to each other, their communities, and their artistic selves. The program includes training for Flynn staff, in best practices for arts education, as well as a seed grant to try out a new class idea.
Beginning in fall 2019, we are piloting our class Dance Floor Moves. Created for adults age 55 and above, the class builds dance floor confidence while increasing balance, coordination, and space awareness. Students learn everything from swing to disco, jitterbug to hip-hop, setting them up with moves for the dance floor at any social gathering. Students even learn to throw their own dance party!
Students attending the class this fall are rediscovering their love for familiar music and dance techniques, experiencing the joy of dancing with others, and embracing the fun of learning new moves in modern music styles, especially hip-hop.
We work in partnership with Wake Robin to remove transportation challenges; scholarships are also available to remove financial barriers. Our long-term vision for older adult programming is to add more classes and art forms, and to offer these programs off-site throughout Vermont.
The class participated in the Community Arts Showcase on December 9 on the Flynn Main Stage, giving everyone a chance to see the Dance Floor Moves class in action, and to join them on the dance floor!
Registration for the Flynn winter/spring 2020 semester opens to members on December 10 and to the general public on December 13.
Dance Floor Moves, with Rose Bedard, runs from January 14 through May 5, on Tuesdays from 5:30-7 pm.
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