West Linn Adult Community Center member and volunteer Keli Stevens encourages you to learn to dance - rumba, anyone?

SUBMITTED PHOTO  - Dance instructor David House will offer rumba dance lessons at the West Linn Adult Community Center starting March 6. Partners are not necessary, but the desire to have a little fun is. Call the center to register.

Have you ever taken a dance class? If you haven't, you really should. It's so much more than simply "good fun."

Did you know that dancing can actually help you avoid dementia? It's true! The memorization of steps, patterns and learning new skills help exercise the brain, as well as the body.

We at the West Linn Adult Community Center know that keeping the brain active as we age is vital in maintaining brain health and mental sharpness.

It had been shown that mental stimulation combined with physical exercise can be significantly more effective in staving off age related mental decline.

Whole body conditioning, flexibility, balance, coordination and hip/joint mobility also benefit from dance.

Dancing is also a social activity; friendships and connections are made through the shared experiences. Social engagement is very important to life satisfaction and fulfillment, and isolation can lead to poor self-care, apathy and depression.

Finally, dancing makes you feel good! Endorphins are released, and mood is elevated. As you can see, learning to dance might just be the key to helping you stay fit, healthy, and happy.

The WLACC staff is aware of these important benefits of dance and is pleased to announce rumba lessons with David House will be offered March 6 through April 26, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:30-2:30 pm.

The cost for the full term is only $32 and drop-in fee is $3. Those attending without a partner are encouraged to RSVP at the front desk so one can be arranged for you. All you need to bring is hard-soled shoes.

The rumba is a very popular Latin American dance that is neither quick nor slow, making it perfect for the beginning dancer.

Students will enjoy learning a variety of dance skills that transcend one specific style and can be applied to various types of dance. In fact, it was discovering an easy way to break down and learn the elements of dance that led Instructor David House to teach.

"I enjoy teaching it because learning to dance was difficult for me," House says. "I discovered methods to make it easier to learn. I love to see the progress people make and how it boosts their self-esteem."

I recently had an opportunity to talk with David and enjoyed meeting him. He is a very friendly person with an easy smile that dance students are sure to appreciate.

David is a retired I.T. financial analyst and a long-time member of the West Linn community. He taught various types of dance for 11 years for the nonprofit organization called Christian Connection Ministries, as well as New Hope Church in Stafford.

He enjoys hiking, kayaking, nutritional research, and of course dancing. If you are interested, we invite you to join us. Call Tiffany at the WLACC for more information and to reserve your place.

The lunch menu this week features barbecued chicken, macaroni and cheese, corn and strawberry shortcake on Friday, March 2; meatballs with marinara on spaghetti with zucchini and vanilla cupcakes on Monday, March 5 and Birthday Brunch with meat and veggie scramble, bacon, Yukon gold potatoes and fruit salad on Wednesday, March 7. Cost is $5 per person.

Contact the WLACC at 503-557-4704, or stop by at 1180 Rosemont Road, West Linn 97068.

Keli Stevens is a volunteer and member at West Linn Adult Community Center.

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