After COVID precautions rippled into three years of no live music or twirling around the dance floor for seniors living in the Trail area — Annette Gallatin was more than ready to shine her best shoes and welcome the joie de vivre that community dances bring to so many, no matter the age.
But there was a logistical gap to fill.
Sadly, the Trail Seniors Branch shut down for good in the fall of 2020, so the downtown locale where seniors dances were traditionally held was no longer in play.
Being her tenacious self, Gallatin contacted the city to ask for help.
“These seniors dances are happening because Annette Gallatin contacted me and expressed her interest,” Lisa Manaigre, recreation coordinator, City of Trail, shares. “She was so helpful with the planning process and contacting people to get the word out.”
For the first seniors dance, which went just before Christmas in the Trail Memorial Centre gym, Gallatin went through her list of numbers, and made 82 phone calls.
“For that first dance 48 of us came and danced our feet off,” Gallatin told the Trail Times. “We had so much fun. So I’d really like to get word out that dancing is here again.”
The second dance went in the gym last Wednesday with almost double the attendance.
“Peter Makortoff is the musician providing the music and he is fantastic,” Manaigre said. “His solo performances have been very impressive and he keeps everyone dancing and makes the atmosphere very enjoyable for everyone,” she adds. “He has expressed his continued interest in offering these dances and we hope to continue offering these each month if possible.”
The next dance is happening on Valentine’s Day from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the memorial centre gym.
Adults and seniors are welcome, admission is $5. Light refreshments will be provided by the South Kootenay Seniors Age-Friendly program.
It’s important to note that pre-registration is required by Feb. 13.
There can be no drop-ins.
There are three ways to register: call Trail recreation at 250.364.0888 or 250.364.0858; in-person, visit the aquatic centre and register at the main desk; or online at: www.trailrecreation.ca.
Online registration requires an existing account. Manaigre encourages those without an online account to call recreation staff for help.
From ballroom to boogie, or learning new moves, dancing can be more than just a fun way to exercise. Research shows that dancing can help improve the mental health of seniors. Physical movements produce a feel-good chemical in the brain called endorphins, which in turn, can improve mood and counteract depression for older adults.