‘Dancing with the Seniors’ big hit with SAS students

School for Advanced Studies student Vanessa Chaparro enjoys a salsa with Ventura Acosta.

The Salsa Club at School for Advanced Studies (SAS) took its fancy moves to the Joy of Life Adult Daycare Center in West Kendall for a December holiday celebration. The students were welcomed by a very friendly staff and a lively group of elderly members of the facility.

The salsa group started by dancing one of its most invigorating routines. After dancing to a few songs, they asked the elderly to join in and each student invited a resident to dance.  At first many of the students and residents were shy and a bit hesitant, but before they knew it, they were all dancing and having a good time.

After a few dances, the students helped serve lunch and took part in congratulating four residents whose birthdays were being celebrated.

The SAS students joined the staff in singing Happy Birthday, and after a healthy lunch, three of the students took turns playing the guitar and singing songs.

When the students were done performing, it was their turn to be entertained. Many of the elderly in the center were very talented too. One of the center’s Chinese members, Cay Sen, taught the students some basic Thai martial arts moves and everyone was amazed by his ability and knowledge. Mercedes was the last member to entertain the students. In her youth, she was a teacher and she reminded the students of their kindergarten days.

She had the students singing their ABCs, Mary had a Little Lamb, and La Cucaracha among other old-time hits. After listening to many stories and dancing along with everyone, the students joined the elderly in their favorite game of dominos.  After a few hours at the center, no one was ready to leave. A bond was built and the students felt as if they were leaving their grandparents behind. Many of the students’ eyes were filled with tears and sadness.

One of the ladies ran after the group to find out when the students would be coming back. The Salsa Club at SAS hopes to return to the center to “Dance with the Seniors” in the near future.

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