Dancing and Wegmans


 Friday nights, we usually go dancing. Wegmans’ Marketplace Café in Webster, across from Bay Towne. The music group is led by Johnny Matt (he plays trumpet/sings), and includes a keyboard artist, a drummer, and Johnny’s wife, Barbara, who adds rhythm thingies—castinets, tambourines, etc. They play big band-type music from the 30s, 40s and 50s mostly, although we have a twist dance every so often. The music delights us each week from 5:30 to 7:30.

I do not say “delights us” without reason. I’ve noticed all these months we’ve been going that the people dancing are all smiling, laughing, sneaking in a little snuggle or kiss once in a while. For a long time, I thought they weren’t married, although I noticed the women wore engagement and wedding rings. Keep in mind (you should know from the clue of the music period) that these aren’t just retired folk. These are old retired folk! When we get up from our tables, it takes us all a few steps before our backs straighten and our gait to the dance floor picks up, but once on that floor, the muscles move, the bones vibrate, and the body jives.

One man got out there last Friday night, dancing away with different partners. A woman nearby said he was 94. He wasn’t too tall, stocky, thinned white hair, bit of a paunch, and a little osteoporosis. But when he heard that music, felt the beat, the rhythm, that guy boogied.

And he laughed doing it. So did his partner. Like I said. Everybody smiles, laughs, whispers sweet nothings, and simply has a really good time. It’s like a romantic holiday.

I can’t help but wonder why. It’s such a wonderful departure from watching or listening to older married people picking at each other, which happens all too often. But why, consistently, do all of us act like teen-agers on dates?

We know music is a gift to the soul, so that’s one joy generator. We know dancing is very physical and endorphin-producing exercise. We know being active, health permitting, is a good thing for seniors. Maybe it’s all these things that account for our having so much fun, for couples loving each other and not afraid to demonstrate it.

Or maybe dancing and music attract those people who are already in the happiness mode. Maybe. I think, really, that it’s the package—the whole all-inclusive package. And I’m so glad that Wegmans provides this free entertainment for those of us who love to dance or at least, love to try. It’s a lovely package, wrapped in pure pleasure.

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