Line-dancing class offers fitness, fellowship

By Linda Looney-Bond


Country singer Shania Twain's one-time hit, "Any Man of Mine," got the crowd moving, Tuesday, during an advanced line-dancing class at the Frank Bailey Senior Center in Riverdale.

The country tune was followed by Michael Jackson's pop hit, "Billie Jean," and then a soulful version of the rhythm and blues standard, "I'm a Soul Man."

"That's what's great about line dancing ... it's not just western now," said dance instructor, Glenda Gamblin.

Gamblin, 65, has taught free, line-dancing classes at the Senior Center, located at 6213 Riverdale Road, since last fall.

"It's a lot more fun than the treadmill," she said. "We can get your heart rate up. It's good for blood pressure, and you join another family. You have your line-dance family," she said.

"I do it for health and exercise," said Jackie Harris, 58, of Hampton. Harris said she has participated in the weekly class for about a year. "It's good for the heart, good for the soul, good for the body and the mind," said Harris, who said she is a retired financial analyst, who worked for 30 years with the federal government.

"I came down here from Washington, D.C., about five years ago," she said. "I'm retired, trying to live my last days having a great time dancing, singing, and praising the Lord," she said.

Charlamus Dennis, 62, of Fairburn, said he's also been taking the class about a year. "I always wanted to learn how to line dance. This is what's taking over most of the parties now," he said. Dennis said the class is also a good source of exercise. "It helps to keep the weight off you," he said.

The class is open to all members of the senior center, according to Gamblin, who used to teach a ballroom dancing class at the center. "There were not enough men in our age bracket to continue [ballroom dancing]," she said.

Seniors, aged 55 and older, may become members of the Frank Bailey Senior Center, according to administrators there. The membership fee for Clayton County residents is $1 per year. The fee for seniors who do not live in Clayton County is $10 per year.

Line-dancing classes for beginners are held each Tuesday, from 11:30 a.m., until 12 p.m., and again from 12 p.m., until 12:45 p.m, according to Gamblin.

The advanced class is held from 12:45 p.m., until 1:30 p.m., also on Tuesdays.

Dorothy Moss, 64, of Fairburn, is new to the class. She attended the advanced class for the second time on Tuesday. "I have a friend that comes here," she said. "One of my church members said, 'Come, and go with me.' "

"I came last week and enjoyed it so much that I'm back again this week," Moss said.

The line-dancing class is one of many classes offered at the senior center, including water aerobics, yoga, arthritis aquatics and Tai Chi. Some classes are free and others require a fee.

For more information, contact the Frank Bailey Senior Center at (678) 479-5505.