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What I Learned Dancing with Grannies

2 May 2012 No Comment

Ilonka Wloch

Ilonka Wloch
United States

Editor’s note: How do you worship?  How do you relieve stress? Ilonka Wloch found an outlet for both in a weekly gathering of older women with one goal in mind: to dance.

One day, my friend Eleanor asked me if I’d like to go dancing with her on Wednesday. I love to dance, so I said yes. She explained that it’s a handful of women who get together regularly at a small church converted into a dance hall. Hmm.

The following week, we carpooled from our little coastal town to an even smaller inland town. Once there, we entered the church, which was converted into a vast expanse of emptiness. I liked that. Dancing is one of my favorite ways to worship.

I was warmly welcomed by the women present. The participants of the Women’s Dance Collective take turns facilitating each gathering. The collective birthed in the 90s promotes free-spirit expression, playfulness and fitness. On that evening Kat prepared the music and shared some ideas for movement. While the dancing is generally free-form, the leader can make certain suggestions. And sometimes there’s no direction at all.

As all the dancers trickled in, I realized that these ladies were all much older. How old, I couldn’t tell. We were all grooving, swaying, rock-n-rolling. They seemed like teenagers, not elders.

I found it a bit strange to dance just with women, older women. My previous dancing included both sexes and peers. Would I come back? I didn’t know.

I came back. And by the third Wednesday I began to truly look forward to the next one.

The women offered me a rare gift. First of all, I get to regularly connect with women two generations ahead of me. And in a really, really fun way too. Secondly, these fit and lively ladies became my role models. I realized that through them, I was looking at myself down the road (if I’m lucky). Imagining me with the wrinkles, the gray hair, the flabby skin, and the eye twinkle.

I was able to see firsthand that the spirit doesn’t age. The vessel is in a constant whirl of change. By embracing, not concealing the changes, I’m embracing the truth of who I am.


Ilonka Wloch is an activist for social awakening and editor of Positive News She was born in Poland and lives in the US.

 The views and opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Peace X Peace.

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