Senior Moment: Movin’ and Groovin’
By Dave Gilbert, Contributor
Walk into the Chelsea Senior Center Room 100 on a Tuesday morning, and you will see a group of seniors from around the Chelsea area, greeting each other and finding seats. Then the music begins. They have gathered for another session of Movin' and Groovin’, the Adaptive Dance Program led by Macks Kreps of Ballet Chelsea.
Kreps keeps the participants moving with a playlist of mostly ‘oldies’, and singing along is encouraged. As is laughter, and at one point they pass out colorful scarves to be incorporated into the basic exercise routines. The sessions emphasize improving balance, developing strength in shoulders and arms to help with carrying things, coordination, etc.
The exercises are chair-based, using various props and suggestions for moves provided by Kreps, who has been teaching ballet and other movement programs for the past ten years. A ‘natural’ teacher, they keep the movers groovin’ with a variety of tunes that coordinate well with the movement suggestions. So it’s fun!
The 30-minute classes are open to all seniors; those with movement concerns are especially encouraged to attend. The Tuesday class begins at 11 AM, when those from the Ease The Day adult day program join in; on Thursdays, Movin’ and Groovin’ meets at 9:45.
The classes are part of Ballet Chelsea’s Adaptive Dance Program which they developed and started in 2015. It was, and still is to a large degree, sponsored by 5 Healthy Towns, which had identified a need for additional exercise opportunities for members of the community with physical, mental or cognitive limitations.
Initially, classes were offered in Chelsea special education classrooms, at the senior center and WISD Young Adults classes, and at the St. Louis Center. Since then, the offerings have expanded across the county, with 50 classes per week. Kreps is one of four Ballet Chelsea teachers who travel across the county to present the program in various settings.
The Senior Moment feature highlights opportunities for older adults through the Chelsea Senior Center and related organizations.
Photo Caption: Macks Kreps leads the Movin’ and Groovin’ adaptive exercise class at the Chelsea Senior Center