12/28/17 O&A NYC DANCE/HEALTH AND WELLNESS: The Village Elders Celebrate First Year In New Home

By Walter Rutledge

The Dance Of The Village Elders ended their first fall session at St. Philip’s Church with a performance and a party. The dance and fitness program, which began in 2010, was forced to disband in 2015. In February 2017 the program reorganized as a “Fitness Cooperative”, and relocated to St. Philip’s Church, 204 West 134th Street.

We didn’t have any funds, but we had the will to stay together; so money became the least important reason not to work together. St. Philip’s Church came to the rescue offering us space in the Harlem community, which kept to program accessible to many of our participants. On Thursday December 14 the “Ladies” presented a holiday celebration demonstration/performance to a standing room only crowd of family and friends. The 60 minute presentation, which included a warm up with audience participation, and performances by the Ladies and Three Jazz Kings (Andrew Damakakos, Bless Goode and Judah Marable) courtesy of the Dance Program at Harlem School of the Arts.

Dance Of The Village Elders- Santa Baby excerpt

The celebration continued the following Thursday, December 21, during our last class  Everyone brought a dish, and I shifted responsibilities from instructor to disc- jockey. This is always one of my favorite sessions it gives us an opportunity to fellowship. Everyone is relaxed and even more jovial than usual,  still reveling in the success of our performance a week earlier. 

We will resume classes on Thursday January 4, 2018 2- 3:30pm. The classes are free to the public and all are welcome. Have a happy holiday season and a prosperous New Year! We hope to see you in January. 

 

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10/17/17 O&A NYC DANCE/ HEALTH AND WELLNESS: The Dance of The Village Elders Leap Forward With Fitness

The Dance of The Village Elders resumed classes at St. Phillips Episcopal Church (204 west 134th street) in early September. After a few weeks of getting back “in step” strength/resistance training was added to the weekly dance and fitness regiment. “CoCo (aka Coline) mentioned that she had joined a gym and wanted some advice on using free weights properly. Based on the conversation we decided to add strength and resistance training to our class”, states director Walter Rutledge. “We chose the resistance bands because they provide an efficient way to build and strengthen muscles without adding undue stressing the joints and ligaments.”

The 90-minutes class presently takes place on Thursday afternoons beginning at 2pm. It incorporates stretching and breathing, calisthenics, aerobics and dance/choreography. The class is “senior specific” designed to encourage and assist each individual reach their personal best.

More important Dance Of The Village Elders addresses the challenges associated with aging such as loss of motor skills, hand eye coordination, short-term memory,  and mobility and balance issues. The classes are offered free to the public. Dance Of The Village Elders will present their holiday fellowship fundraiser on Thursday December 14, 6pm at St. Phillips Episcopal Church. For more information contact Walter Rutledge at (917) 744- 2601.