River Forest Township sponsors dance class for seniors

Classes feature simple dance patterns and rhythms to promote mental and physical health

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By Nona Tepper

Coming in early February, the River Forest Township will again sponsor "Movement and Memory for Joyful Aging," a series of cardio-dance classes designed to nurture mind and body wellness in seniors.

"Daily movement, for both the body and the brain, is a key to resilient aging," Carla Sloan, River Forest Township supervisor, said in a statement. "The experience of joyful moving inspires and delights individuals, and that has a bottom-line positive impact on their overall well-being."

Instructor Gloria Araya will lead the hour-long "ayun dance" style classes, which play with simple dance patterns and rhythms that strengthen attendees' cardiovascular system, memorization skills and promote body awareness. A native of Chile, Araya has traveled the world sharing this style of dance.

"This is for men and women at all levels of ability to enjoy moving to great music and experiencing the joy and invigoration that comes with engaging the mind and the body," Araya said in a press release from the township.

Last May, more than 20 people attended these classes as part of the Township's "Celebrating Seniors Week," dancing to 1940s tunes by Ella Fitzgerald, World Music and Afro-Brazilian, Latin and Swing songs. 

This year, the township will sponsor two, six-part series of classes. The first series runs Feb. 7 through March 14. The second series runs March 28 through May 2. Classes begin at 1:30 p.m. at the River Forest Community Center's dance studio. Each session costs $50 and classes are not limited to River Forest residents.

Registration deadline is Feb. 1. To register, call 708-771-6159, visit www.rfcc.info or pick up a winter brochure at the River Forest Community Center, 8020 Madison St.

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