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Serendipitous Saturday! American Dance Festival Gets Carolina Meadows Dancing!
Phil DeSantis

Serendipitous Saturday

American Dance Festival gets Carolina Meadows dancing!

Saturday morning at ten o’clock … sleep late, maybe a round of golf on our CM par three course, plan to do errands.

But once or twice a month our home-grown Carolina Meadows University (CMU) finds a willing community speaker to liven things up in the auditorium, too. Today we have been lucky enough to be joined by the wonderful director of the American Dance Festival (ADF), Jodee and several of her colleagues and eleven delightful young girls just starting their lives of dancing.  We call these Saturday events “Serendipitous”, since we can be nimble enough to take advantage of availability of neighbors or visits from friends and family to showcase their amazing talents. Today is even more amazing … and the full house reflects it. It’s wonderful to host multiple generations of talent and their supportive friends and families. Amy, one of our favorite senior staff, is here because her daughter is dancing. Marge, our CMU host, reminds us that ADF is an international treasure. Jody remarks on the audience, and welcomes its youngest member, still in arms, and suggests that we’ll be hearing from her (which we promptly do). It’s all wonderfully relaxed and informal … perfect for a Saturday morning!

After a well-produced and impressive fifteen minute video, Jodee presses us all into action with a “brain dance”. We stay in our chairs or stand up and reach for the stars (being careful not to hit one another). It’s wonderful to see our friends from the Pines (our nursing home) in wheel chairs in the front row, reaching along with us. One of my favorite friends from our cognition unit (the Green) is in the row behind me, delighting in the music and the stretch.

“Get in touch with your greatest aches and pains. … now get in touch with something that delights you. Now go from your pain to ecstasy.” Ecstatic indeed. Not bad!

The kids are wonderful .. so loose and flexible and obviously pleased with their personal growth into this medium.  Then there is a truly inspiring pas de deux from the adults (how can she actually hold that hunk and dance with him in her arms?).

We are all put to work in creating our own modern dance … with six of us (volunteers all) up on stage being spontaneous and all of us in the audience copying (well, sort of) their inspired movements.

We finish (almost) with a  video describing the upcoming ADF season, portraying the great diversity and creativity we have ahead this summer.

Then Marge thanks everyone — the fabulous talent on the stage and their families, and all who participated, which, I guess, means all of us!  A final shout-out to our wonderful staff activities coordinator, another Jody. Our new audio-visual system is a major upgrade, with superb sound and projection, but it’s still in shake-down and can be finicky. So Jody came in on a Saturday day off, just to be sure it all went smoothly. And did it ever. Success at Carolina Meadows looks like Serendipity, but it is so very much more!

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