GET ACTIVE: Dayton Live has seniors Dancing Through the Goldies

Choreography, creativity, and camaraderie — fitness and fun blend seamlessly in the Senior StAGEs: Dancing Through the Goldies program.

Seniors ages 55 and older take center stage in the new Dayton Live program that invites participants to dance to classic songs from popular musicals such as “The Sound of Music” to “West Side Story.” Two left feet or mobility issues? No problem. Modifications are offered in the classes designed for the young at heart. And no prior dance experience is needed.

“We are very interested in making sure we’re serving everyone in the community with our programs,” said Gary Minyard, Dayton Live chief creative officer. “It’s my hope that this program and this space (PNC Arts Annex) become a place to create community and make friends.”

If the smiles and laughs were any indication, Dancing Through the Goldies is already a success on both counts.

“This is a wonderful place to be,” said Dayton resident Carmen Bostic, 68. “I love the socialization and the dancing.”

Good fun and good for you

Dance has numerous physical benefits for older adults including improved balance, coordination and posture, but it can be good for the brain as well as the body.

Results of a recent study funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicated improvements in memory, attention and focus among the participants in a structured regular dance program. Scientists have also found the areas of the brain that control memory improve with exercise. Dance has the added benefits of incorporating rhythm, music and a social environment as well.

“I love the energy and the enthusiasm,” said instructor Fara Ling.

Carol Quinones of Kettering looks forward to class every week.

“I wake up on Wednesday morning and I’m going dancing,” said Quinones, 73. “What could be better than that?”

Engagement and education

Held from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Wednesdays, this new senior program is an extension of the Dayton Live Creative Academy that has been providing a wide range of musical theater classes and camps for young dancers and thespians for several years. Adding daytime classes for adults addresses a new audience and makes use of the versatile PNC Arts Annex, located at 46 W. Second St. in downtown Dayton.

“We want to meet people where they are and our teaching artists are here to support our students of all ages,” Minyard said.

Classes start with a gradual warm-up exercise followed by learning choreography set to classic melodies. Participants also get to try their hand at a bit of improv as they are encouraged to create some of their own movements.

“I love being spontaneous and just having fun with it,” Bostic said.

While this six-week series is already underway, Dayton Live plans to offer additional Senior StAGEs programs.


What: Senior StAGEs: Dancing Through the Goldies

Where: PNC Arts Annex, 46 W. Second St., Dayton

When: 10-11:30 a.m. Wednesdays through Nov. 29

Cost: $75

More info: Visit and sign up for emails.

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