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Life in Retirement: We should all be dancing

Find more ways to dance through life
Sandy Bexon. (File photo)

Okay, it’s 2 o’clock in the afternoon and the place is packed. People in festive wear are dancing up a storm to the strains of a rock & roll band, and the drinks are flowing like it’s 5 o’clock somewhere. Sound like a Jimmy Buffett party? Actually, it’s the Mayor’s Garden Party for seniors’ week!


Sure, the drinks were lemonade (and not the hard kind), but it was Mayor Ken Johnston himself who performed frontman for three rocking songs. He showed a clear history as a singer in a rock band back in the day, and he was accompanied by courageous and good-natured City Councillors and senior staff. It was the 50th anniversary of the annual event, and a 1950s vibe filled the Harvest Centre throughout the afternoon.


Being a fairly young senior, I may not have even been of age to actually qualify to attend this soiree, but no one ID’d me at the door. And as I looked around, there were plenty of folks from a younger set, most were accompanying older people who required some assistance. But it was undoubtedly the seniors who were filling the dance floor and lining up at the photobooth to don the kitschy 50s accessories and capture a fun photo – often with the Mayor who seemed to be having as much fun as anyone, given that he’s the same vintage and all.


A colourfully dressed and exuberant woman at my table exclaimed to me, “I love coming to senior events because they are always so much fun – a lot more fun than some of the events for people in my age group! When I heard about this party, I went to the Golden Circle where I teach Zumba to see which seniors I could tag along with. Look around – who here is old? No one!”


Right she was. This was a happy and energetic crowd – many didn’t sit down the whole afternoon. While she jumped up to dance with the others, I was thinking Zumba with this group would be really fun and that it’s time I check out the Golden Circle! People were dancing with their friends and some with their walkers, and a slow but enthusiastic conga line even zigzagged through the room at one point. The Mayor joked that there would be a run on Rub A535 at the local shops later that day. Twist and shout, indeed.


But he also thanked everyone in the room, in all seriousness, for their contributions to the community, for having raised children and holding long careers, for volunteering and doing their part to make things better for others. For mattering. Ah, there was a nice feeling in the room through and through. I mean, the City Councillors even served up Flapper Pie and layered jello.


And, as a recovering marketing & communications professional, I’m just always happy to attend an event I didn’t have to plan.


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