Today was yet another special day spent with special people sharing the freedom and spirit felt from dancing. Nothing feels better than to release all worries and give oneself to the music, letting your body move through space without a care. We all truly feel that the studio is a safe space with no judgment, for we support and encourage each other when we perform and have fun being silly with one another. When it comes to dancing, age has no boundaries. Bodies were meant to move and be used as long as life allows, and it is inspiring to see how just how much energy 90 year olds still have! It is because of this that I cannot tell how old someone is! Maybe I am ignorant, but I always imagined that after the age of 80 people would be frail and dependent. My beliefs have totally reversed. I was blown away after talking with Bertha today to learn that she is 90 years old. She is so light on her feet and dainty when she dances! I hope to be just as full of life as her, at the age of 24.
I realized today how much this program means to the older adults, especially my PAL, Alice. She admires us students for enduring professional school, and is so appreciative of us taking time out of our busy schedules to dance and spend time with her. It is not just another time commitment on a Sunday for me, it is a joy I look forward to each week. I actually appreciate her spending time with me! Alice has taught me to live in the moment and enjoy the company you are with, not to hold back any feelings but express them, let each person know how much you care about them, and be yourself. She is easily overcome by emotions because she lets herself feel them fully and is so thankful for the life that she is living and the people she is spending it with. She is a wonderful human being and a friend I will have for life. I have learned that aging is nothing to fear, life may actually get sweeter because you can appreciate all of the little moments. I am thankful for Alice for teaching me this.
Carlin Tettelbach, graduate student in Physical Therapy