The First Steps
After their move to Galveston, Texas to be near their daughter, the Schroders thought up the idea for Let’s Dance Ballroom as a way to get involved in their new community in addition to volunteering.
“We didn't know the territory, but we just gave this a go, and it could not have worked better,” Neva said.
“I just told the city I'd do a zero budget activity if they'd mark off an afternoon we could use that beautiful [dance] floor. The city took a chance on me, and we have done this without fail for seven years now, by the grace of God.”
Even though they’d never taught dance or DJ’d before, they did have dance experience, and Neva calls herself “a music addict.”
“I didn't let my ripe old age of 74 stop me from trying something new,” she said.
As seniors, the Schroders understand how important it is to create a space where older adults can remain social and active. Whether participants are fully mobile or use canes for support, they are welcome to dance. No matter their skill set, Neva said the impact the classes have on attendees is tremendous.
“We believe that our activity has built a special little community of folks who serve as an antidote to loneliness, which is a plague among elderly,” she shares.
“Loneliness promotes depression and illnesses. We literally have seen the difference in people from when they first start and after getting acquainted, they enter the room with a twinkle in their eye knowing they are in a friendly place with people.”
With regular classes on Wednesdays and special dances like the 1920s themed "Come to the Cabaret" party, they are always trying to create opportunities for fun and celebration.
With food, music, dance and decor, the Schroders are aiming to keep themselves and other seniors in their community active and engaged. Even so, they are humble.
“We are just an old couple — 81 and 82 years old — extending a warm welcome, with nice decorations, good music and an amazing floating hardwood dance floor,” she said. “We like to dance and we are enjoying being a pair of amateurs providing dance opportunities for others to enjoy.”
Want to put on your dancing shoes?
If you’re a senior in the Galveston, Texas area and are interested in experiencing the magic of the Let’s Dance Ballroom for yourself, you can find information about future events on their Facebook page. For the rest of us, their Facebook page also showcases exciting photos and videos from past events like “Puttin’ on the Ritz Dance” and the “Hooray for Hollywood Ball.”
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