Art of Aging: Ballroom dancing

MARLTON, N.J. (WPVI) -- Dancing with the Stars kicks off another season this coming Monday, and there are some seniors who are having just as much fun.

At the Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Marlton, New Jersey, dancers of a certain age are learning how to do the swing and the meringue.

Gemma David is an Instructor at the studio.

She says, "For a lot of people who are retired, ballroom dancing is a great activity that brings people together and gives them a common interest."

Many retired couples find dancing cheek to cheek can help them reconnect.

Fred Kaviani is the Owner & Director of the Arthur Murray Dance Studio.

"They start walking hand-in-hand after a couple of lessons, finding that nonverbal communication that they may not have had for some time," he said.

Students Esther and Don Urban agree.

"I think it has done a great deal for our relationship, after all, when you're dancing in your husband's arms - what more could you want?," said Esther.

And dancing gets the heart racing in more ways than one. Students say the classes are a great way to get fit.

Maria Czaplicki, a student says, "I've lost about 10 pounds and I've gotten in better shape than I've been in a long time."

Another student in the class Cecilia Handza says, "Because it exercises not just your body but your mind. You have to think. You can't just do it mindlessly."

Instructors say ballroom dance is easier to learn than you might think. When Julie Yoh started taking lessons, she had no dance background. Now the retired chemical engineer is winning ballroom dance competitions.

"It's a challenge, a lot of skill to be learned, but it is very exciting," added Julie.

You can find more fun ways to stay fit and age gracefully in our Art of Aging section.
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