Come dance to live music

By Michelle Alexander

In the lyrics of Frank Sinatra, “Hey there cutes, put on your dancing boots. Come dance with me!” Johnson County Park and Recreation District’s 50 Plus Department wants you to come dance with us from 1 to 3 p.m. every Friday at Meadowbrook Park Clubhouse, 9101 Nall Ave., Prairie Village.

Starting in January, participants can dance to the live music of KC Swing each week with fellow music and dance lovers alike. Singles and couples are welcome to attend.

While you are swaying to the sounds of Sinatra, Bennie Goodman, Duke Ellington and more, you can also gain great mental and physical health benefits along the way.

According to a study in The Arts in Psychotherapy journal, dance has been shown to lift your mood, keep your mind sharp, while also increasing physical endurance and strength. It’s a fun form of exercise that you might be more likely to stick with on a regular basis.

Additionally, a study by Oxford University states that dancing or moving to music with others, encourages and increases social bonding with strangers.

The Harvard Medical School goes beyond that to state that forming strong social connections improves long-term health as much as adequate sleep, a good diet and not smoking.

Dancing also reduces the prevalence of falling for healthy older adults, according to a Journal of Aging and Physical Activity study.

The best part of our tea dances is that no dance experience is needed. Dance because it feels good and abandon your worries about looking silly and just have fun.

When asking our current dancers why they come dance with us, their answers supported the results of the studies above.

Jo Ann says: “Great music, great people, lots of fun.” Greg states: “Good sounds. Like the variety.”

Sue attends because she “likes visiting with her friends.” Jim tells us: “love the music and exercise.”

Most others agree that there is good music, great people and it’s overall just a good time.

So, come dance every Friday afternoon away with us for fellowship, fun, music and dance. Cost is $5 per person at the door.

For more information or questions, call the Meadowbrook Park Clubhouse at 913-826-2975.

Michelle Alexander is the 50 Plus Department manager at the Johnson County Park and Recreation District.