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Seniors jive to the groove as part of Shands Lifelong Health Program

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Karen Jacoby swings her arms and moves her legs to the music every Tuesday at the Alachua County Senior Recreation Center, 5701 N.W. 34th Street.

The red-haired, blue-eyed woman participates in the Shands Arts in Medicine Dance for Lifelong Health program, which conducts free, weekly dance classes at the center for people ages 60 and older.

“I have rheumatoid arthritis, so it keeps everything moving the way it should,” Jacoby said. “It helps with that.”

Rusti Brandman, the Dance for Lifelong Health choreographer, said the dance classes are more than workouts.

“This is really just as much for the brain as it for the body, so we do work the whole human being,” she said. “It gives you a chance to feel like you’re expressing yourself.”

Brandman added that the classes also promote social interaction among seniors.

The music, which varies from jazz to swing to modern, are tailored to participants, and it changes each week.

“I’m grateful that I can come to this class,” she said. “It’s a wonderful resource for everybody.”

Jewel Midelis wrote this story online.


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