I just had my first “dancing date” with Piper, our oldest member here at 81 years.  She’s the vanguard for identifying and highlighting the needs of elders in the community, and it’s quite an endeavor.  We’re having to find the balance of needs and wants in a new context.  Is social interaction a need or a want for someone who’s fairly immobile?  Should someone providing social interaction get labor credits for their time?

Piper has a care group to help her determine her needs and figure out how to get them met.  A few weeks ago, one of the members of the care group asked me if I’d be willing to dance with Piper for a half hour each week.  She wants exercise, and she wants to do it through dancing.  So today I took my CDs and my dancing pants up to the Bijou, a large room where I regularly dance alone, and Piper and I danced.  We put on some drumming music, and moved around the room, sometimes dancing seperately, sometimes mirroring each other, and once she showed me a partner move she liked to do when she was younger.  While we danced she told me about being unhappy in a marriage when she was in her 20s, and how she discovered dancing as a retreat from that.  We chatted about other things, and sometimes stayed silent, moving the whole time.  She asked for slower music at the end, and we cooled down to some songs of soft piano.  It was a treat, and I’m excited to do it again.  Being with her brought to mind thoughts of my grandmother, who died in May.  I’m honored to get to share this time with Piper, in part as a tribute to my grandmother, who I wish I could have danced with more.

Another tango, another time

another tango, another time