‘It feels like a high school prom’

Area seniors enjoy weekly Jammin’ in the Gym sessions

Left to right are John “Ding Dong” Bell, Janice Bell, Carolyn Brewer and Bunky Brewer. (Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Cullman area seniors gathered at the Donald E. Green Senior Center gym Tuesday evening for Jammin’ in the Gym. It was the third in a series of weekly dances scheduled at the center during the month of June.

This week’s Jammin’ in the Gym brought crowd favorite The Fairlanes, who played a great mix of rock and country hits from the 50s and 60s.

Bucky and Carolyn Brewer came down from Decatur to attend the dance and were having a wonderful time.

Said Carolyn Brewer, “Back in the day, where all this music’s coming from, that’s all we had to do was to dance. I grew up with ‘American Bandstand,’ and that’s where I learned to dance, with Dick Clark.”

She laughed as she explained, “I danced with the dining room facing. The doorway was my partner.”

The Brewers came with two friends from Hartselle, the Bells, and the couples enjoyed reminiscing about their high school days and the great music from that time. John “Ding Dong” Bell and his wife Janice, both retired teachers, love getting out and having a few laughs with their friends. Ding Dong, in crimson, and Bunky, wearing orange and blue, exchanged jabs over the legendary Auburn/Alabama rivalry.

Carolyn Brewer had a personal reason for treating herself to night out with friends; she said, “My mother is battling dementia. I have been attending a dementia support group on Tuesday nights. I have been for the past several months, but tonight I decided that I was going to do something for myself. I needed this. I needed to find myself.”

The seniors attending the Jammin’ in the Gym event showed off their partner dancing skills as well as line dancing. As “Will You Still Live Me Tomorrow?” played, one couldn’t help but feel transported to a 1960s senior prom.

“It feels like a high school prom. It really does,” Kim Foshee Merritt said of the dance.

As Chubby Checker’s “The Twist” played, the seniors showed why their generation is one of the greatest.

Karla Pitts, who works at the senior center smiled, “This is their music and they know all the dances to it. Look at him, he’s twisting all the way to the floor! This is a great way to keep our seniors active.”

The next Jammin’ at the Gym will be Tuesday, June 25 from 6-8 p.m. The Cadillacs will be playing everyone’s favorite tunes and admission is free. Dance lessons are offered to seniors at the Donald E. Green center on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Monday, Wednesday and Friday line dancing classes:

Beginners- 9:15-10 a.m.

Improvers- 10-11:15 a.m.

Intermediate- 11:15 a.m-12:30 p.m.

On Wednesdays a beginner class is taught by a former cruise ship dance instructor and includes introductions to a variety of dances including rumba, mambo, waltz and many popular dances.

For more information on the dance lessons and the many activities offered at the Donald E. Green Senior Center, call 256-734-4803 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. The center is closed on Thursdays and weekends.

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Christy Perry