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Dance Lessons for Activities Directors

Seniors going Gangnam Style makes the news because of the trendy moves they are doing in their retirement community! I love it when the world gets to see that seniors are not all sitting in their rocking chairs knitting!

This week at my community, we had our annual holiday gala dance. I had received a call from my entertainer for the night saying that he was sick and was sending someone else in his place. My thoughts went from "oh crap" to "oh yea" to "uh oh." The fear of the unknown performer on one of the most popular high-end events of the year! Well, turns out that I learned two lessons this week when preparing for the event.

The first thing that I learned is, that if you have a good working relationship with a professional entertainer, he will take good care of you, even if he is not there. I had an entertainer cancel earlier in the month, but he did not find a replacement for himself and left me with nothing. The difference that I can see is that the first one that I mentioned for my gala dance is a professional performer who I've worked with for years. The other man is a church organist, who also works in an organ store, and performs on the side. This was the second time that I contacted him to play for us.... since he is one of the few in the area who can actually tackle our fancy organ!  I think I will try to include something in the contracts in advance about getting replacements and see how that goes over.......

The second lesson that I learned is, that just like at the parties that you go to, there needs to be a fun person that gets things started. The dance floor was full the whole night thanks to the dance host that I hired, but when the Twist came on there was nobody! I will tell you that I can not dance the way the residents do with the Swing, Fox Trot, Rumba, Waltz, etc., so they almost never see me on the dance floor... unless it is doing the Electric Slide or the Chicken Dance.  But the Twist?!?  I couldn't let that pass. I grabbed one of my younger, single ladies and got started with her and then Twisted my way around the room and got others out on the floor until it was full. It was the perfect way to end the night and we all had a blast. 

If you have dancing skills, don't let them go to waste. Yes,we are there to "work" and make sure that there is enough to drink on the table, that the air conditioner is right for the dancers, but not freezing for the listeners, etc., but then take time to really make the party a success - and that is with your own personal connection to it! I love to take time to go from table to table and sit down. "How are you enjoying the party?" is a good opener or "I haven't had a minute to talk with you lately, how are you?"  Residents love to have the personal contact that only you can offer. 

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