For seven years, seniors, residents of the Wesley Community in Saratoga Springs and even the public have welcomed spring with a good old dance, complete with food, music and fun. This year’s event, on Friday, March 26, from 6 to 9 p.m., is centered around the theme Swing into Spring to reflect both the vitality of seniors and Wesley’s continued commitment to promoting the quality of life of all ages, according to Lorri Shilling, director of marketing.
`It’s just an event that we are able to do for the residents for their enjoyment and also to invite the outside community to an event here to get to know the community a little bit. A lot of people look forward to it,` said Shilling. `It’s always nice for seniors to have something to look forward to, get dressed up for, get out and lift their spirits.`
Getting dressed up and spending a few hours with friends doing something out of the ordinary is exactly why Dottie Henry, 89, has gone for the two years she’s lived there.
`It’s a neat fundraiser for the Wesley foundation and I enjoyed it, had a good time. It’s very easy to get to; you walk out one door and two steps to another one so it’s right here on campus. They had some entertainment and the food is very good. It’s just a nice social evening,` said Henry.
Henry went to the dance with a friend last year, who is no longer around, so she’s still looking for someone to accompany her. And while she said she liked dancing when she was younger, she didn’t dance herself at previous snowballs; although it was fun to watch the handful of people who do.
`I haven’t danced in a long time because I have a crooked leg, so I can’t. Some people danced but most seemed to be in the upper age category so I can’t say I saw many of them dancing,` said Henry.
While many older residents attend the snowball as a way to escape their apartment or for a change of pace, Henry said she frequently sees different scenery.
`I’m able to get out a lot. I still drive myself places, not too far, but within reason like to the store or something,` said Henry, who encourages her fellow residents to check out the dance.
This year’s evening features a spring chicken and ham buffet dinner, family-friendly activities, dancing and music from a DJ. Dancers from Saratoga Savoy Dance Center will also perform a swing dance routine and demonstration.
Carol Rathbun travels from Ballston Spa each year to attend the dance with her husband, son and daughter-in-law. She said her mother lived on the Wesley campus for six or seven years before passing away but the community still holds a special place in her heart.
`When my mother was there I had a puppy and started going to do therapy with it; let the residents pet a dog and interact with it and they really seem to enjoy it,` said Rathbun. `It’s nice to see them smile.`
Rathbun said the dance is a valuable event for both residents and the public, as it brings them together and gives them a chance to let loose.
`It’s definitely something I’d like when I get to that age. It’s wonderful watching these people get up there, dance and have a good time,` said Rathbun.
Tickets are available for $15 per person or two tickets for $25. Limited seating is available and reservations are required. To reserve tickets, call 691-1565 by Tuesday, March 23.