By Liz Collin

By Liz Collin, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minneapolis dance company is getting attention from across the country for what it’s doing for our seniors.

The Kairos Dance Company is getting older adults to dance for the first time in years. The results are helping them live better.

Kairos calls it “The Dancing Heart” and it’s a program that gets an age group — often overlooked — moving again.

“I really believe everyone is welcome in the dancing circle,” said Maria Genne, artistic director for Kairos.

Genne started teaching just one dance class a week. Now, they’re up to six.

“We think about older adults and think they’re supposed to disappear,” said Genne. “Well, we’re missing out. There’s a whole cultural legacy that’s right in front of us.”

The dance company focuses on working with those with Alzheimer’s and dementia. And they’ve seen powerful results. They see more energy, better balance and memory.

“What we’re learning and realizing is even people with dementia can learn new things,” said Peter Podulke. “It’s like at the 15-minute mark somebody turned on the key like they were just waiting for permission.”

Volunteers have even danced with some patients in their last weeks of life.

“It’s a blessing every which way,”

The blessing gets back to their core belief, which is that everyone can and should dance.

“What we can do can be powerful and make a difference,” Genne said. “And can be beautiful.”

Comments (6)
  1. mimi says:

    God bless the Kairos Dance Company and the volunteers that are doing this for the elderly. It gives me hope that when I hit that age, (which is not too far off) that there will be classes like this for me. Without all the elderly that served for this country we would not be here. I am glad that this program is bringing some of them back to a life that they once had. Things like this can wake a persons mind out of slumber. Again God bless the Kairos Dance Company!

  2. thanks for this lovely glimpse into a joy that can be reclaimed at any age.

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