Art of Aging: Soul Line Dance for seniors

The summer heat often makes outdoor exercise difficult for seniors but a 67-year-old dance instructor is keeping it cool inside with a twist on the typical line dance.

Gloria Kingcade has been teaching soul line dancing for 20 years.

"I love working with beginners and seniors. I believe that everybody can learn to dance," she said.

Kingcade started as a karaoke host but discovered soul line dancing at a social and decided to take a class.

"So I started understanding the concept of the left and the right, the front, and the back.
I was really feeling the passion for sharing this with others," Kingcade added.

So she decided to teach and started DASHERS Entertainment Network.

"That acronym is dancing and singing, helps everyone relieve stress," said Kingcade.

She says that is her main goal.

"Dancing is one of the best exercises you can do," added Kingcade.

We asked what makes soul line dancing unique.

"It's the music and the movements. But we have hip hop, jazz, cha-cha, and bop. It just goes this gamut of what people feel is soulful music," she said.

Kingcade says she tailors her music playlist to her classes. "Because a lot of times the seniors remember that song from back when they were as a teenager, and they're able to do a dance-off of that song."

Along with the music, she offers encouragement to keep seniors motivated.

"Do what you can do, but keep it going. Dance with a smile on your face," added Kingcade.

Kingcade teaches weekly classes at the New Courtland Senior Center in Center City and other senior centers around Philadelphia.

Student Elizabeth McCorkle said, "She's an excellent teacher, excellent inspiration. And it's just a lot of fun."

"I tell people if you want to do it you can do it at your own pace. I just really enjoy it," said Soul Line Dancing student Hikamah Hassan.

Kingcade says while she is not a choreographer, she does enjoy putting her own spin on dances.

"That's allowed, encouraged even with soul line dancing. I think it crosses ages, genders, race, culture, so I love it, I love it," said Kingcade.
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