The Dance Of The Village Elders presented Santa’s Babies on Saturday December 1, at St. Philip’s Church 204 West 134th Street in the village of Harlem. The performance marked our second holiday performance/fundraiser at St. Philip’s Church since regrouping as a “Dance/Fitness Cooperative” in the fall of 2016. The Village Elders are a group of mature adults who understand the needs for fitness and wellness as we age. When a grant that supported the project ended in 2015 instead of disbanding the Elders decided to run the program themselves with the assistance of instructor Walter Rutledge.
Dance Of The Village Elders- Here’s To Life
The 70-minute performance reflects the wellness model we use in our class. The audience is treated to a short warm-up (group participation from the audience is encouraged). Followed by a group of short performances by the Village Elders and guest artists Charles Lovell (Organist), Edwina Garner (Soprano) and member of the Uptown Dance Academy (UTA). On behalf of the Village Elders we want to our friends Charles, Edwina, Andrew Cashin (our videographer) and Robin Williams UTA founder/director for your continued support.
To our enthusiastic and loyal audience your donations are what has helped keep the Village Elders dancing into another new year. Since our first informal showing in 2011 you support has been unwavering and has been a great source of encouragement. With heartfelt gratitude we thank you for being part of our fitness family.
St. Philip’s Church is a God send (in more ways than you know). When we needed a home, you gave us refuge. Our experience at St. Philip’s can only be described as faith affirming. Thank you, Gail Silver, DJ and Canon Terrance Lee for making us feel so welcome at St. Philip’s.
Presently the group meets at St. Philip’s Church on Thursdays at 2pm. The ninety-minute regiment includes stretching and breathing exercises, calesthics, cardio and movement/choreography and fellowship. “As life progresses we lose friends, and family and many of the people who create our support systems. The Village Elders provides a place where we can come together and share”, says director Walter Rutledge.
We had our last class in 2018 on Thursday, December 13. Despite the first real inclement weather of the season the Elders turned out in force. On our last class before our Winter and Summer hiatus we usually have an abridge class followed by refreshments and fellowship.
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There is nothing better than an afternoon with the Village Elders- these ladies can burn some pot and pans! The camaraderie, conversation and homemade threats made it an afternoon well spent. You all continue to enhance my life and I’m forever in your debt.
Classes resume on Thursday January 10, 2019, 2pm at St. Philip’s Church. The classes are offered free to the public. Have a happy and safe holiday season and come visit us. We will gladly help you burn off some of that holiday cheer.