Around Town

Line dance class takes center stage on Ch 15

WESTFIELD-Clara Sanborn – at 85 – walks the talk when it comes to getting up and moving – and is offering a fun class on cable Channel 15 this month.

Sanborn is encouraging seniors to check out the 60-minute class which is being offered Oct. 12, 19 and 26 at 3 p.m. and on Oct. 16, 23 and 30 at 10:30 a.m. on the local channel. For residents who do not have access to Channel 15, the class can be viewed at and under “Community,” click on Community Access TV, CH 15 Live Stream.

While the Westfield Senior Center remains closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, innovative exercise programs to keep seniors in shape continue – including line dancing with Sanborn who is assisted by Sue Jorgensen.

Sue Jorgensen and Clara Sanborn are featured this month on cable Channel 15 in Westfield offering a line dancing class. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

“All of the fitness programming that we’re offering on Channel 15 allows the city’s older adults to try a variety of options in the comfort and privacy of their own homes,” said Tina Gorman, executive director, Westfield Council on Aging. 

Gorman said the research is “overwhelming” when it comes to our bodies and the need to move.

“If someone has never tried line dancing, this is a wonderful opportunity to do so,” said Gorman, noting the class has traditionally been offered on Friday mornings until the coronavirus pandemic struck.

“Line dancing was held in the fitness room and was one of the most popular fitness programs that we offered,” said Gorman, adding there were an average of 25 participants each week.

Sanborn, who has been teaching line dancing for 17 years, said the class features a variety of country and popular tunes.

“When I retired the first thing I did was start dancing,” said Sanborn. “It’s good exercise, it’s good for your memory because you have to remember all of the steps, and it’s just great fun.”

Jorgensen shared a similar sentiment.

“Seniors should check out our class just to keep moving,” said Jorgensen. “You don’t need a partner or any special clothing or shoes. The steps are easy to learn.”

Jorgensen noted too it’s “great exercise” and one can “easily” add 5,000 steps in a 90-minute class.

“I enjoy assisting Clara to help guide our members in the steps to each dance,” said Jorgensen. “Everyone is nervous in the beginning but each time you perform a dance it becomes easier. It is also great for keeping our memory ability alive.”

Jorgensen said that Sanborn also uses music of all types including cha cha, tango, waltz, rumba and country.

“Clara is a wonderful instructor,” said Jorgensen.

Gorman noted that in addition to the line dance class, there are a wide array of programs for seniors to enjoy by visiting and under “Community,” click on Community Access TV. The next step is to scroll down to View Archived Broadcasts Online and click Westfield Community Programming on YouTube. At the top, click “Playlists” and then under “Senior Center,” click “View Full Playlist.” The playlist will showcase a variety of fitness classes as well as various sessions from the educational Council on Aging Presents series.

On a related note, Sanborn also offers a line dancing class at the Southwick Senior Center on Fridays from 9 – 10 a.m. in the parking lot, however, reservations are necessary and can be made by calling the Southwick Senior Center for more details.

Line dancing classes are offered Fridays from 9 – 10 a.m. at the Southwick Senior Center. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

“The folks in our class are just happy to have a place to go, meet other dancers and have fun,” said Jorgensen.

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