City shimmies out new senior dance events

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published September 13, 2017

SOUTHFIELD —  May we have this dance?

Whether you’re a ballroom beginner or hustle extraordinaire, the Southfield Human Services Department is inviting seniors to strap on their dancing shoes and head over to the Parks and Recreation Building, 26000 Evergreen Road, at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 14 for a Senior Dance and Soiree.

Human Services Department office coordinator Rhonda Terry said the event will feature beginner, intermediate and advanced dance instruction from Maurice Adams, of Mr. Smooth Ballroom Co., and a live DJ.

Terry said the idea for the event came from residents who attended a similar event in Troy.

“The vision is to try it one Thursday a month. So this month we’ll do line dancing, hustle and ballroom, and maybe next month we’ll try swing dance, Latin dance and salsa, depending on the crowd and what people want,” Terry said.

While the event does call for seniors, Terry said all residents ages 16 and older are welcome.

“We want the young and old to mingle together so they can learn from each other. For older people, young people energize them, and being around them makes them want to learn new dances and share some of their stories about life,” Terry said. “Young people like to be around older people so they can show them their technology and we can understand why things are happening in the world. They can interact and talk about their lifestyles and have fun and stay healthy at the same time.”

Community Relations Director Michael Manion said the event promotes health and overall quality of life for seniors who have made their home in “The Center of It All.”

Earlier this year, the city applied to be designated by AARP as an Age Friendly Community, and it is in the midst of obtaining the certification. In Southfield, 40 percent of the population is made up of residents over the age of 50.

“It’s all part of that AARP Age Friendly designation we’re working on out of some of the different organizations, like the Total Living Commission and the Commission on Senior Adults,” Manion said. “There’s a need for more senior programming, and this is one of the things they’ve referenced from other communities.”

Tickets for the event cost $6 for residents in advance or $7 at the door. For nonresidents, tickets cost $7 in advance or $8 at the door. High school students will be charged $3, Terry said.

Terry said 10 percent of the proceeds raised during the events will go to the Southfield Human Services Emergency Relief Fund, which helps residents in need with unexpected expenses.

“We’re hoping that it will be a good turnout. We do have a significant senior population, and a lot of people are aging in their home. It’s important we provide these events and programs for them,” Manion said.

For more information, call Southfield Human Services at (248) 796-4540.