The Valdosta Daily Times
Call them sweet. Call them charming. Call them impressive. But whatever you call them, the only thing on their minds is swinging their hips and tapping their feet to the music.
The 50-plus crowd, which included a few with pacemakers and heart stents, defied time at the Lake Park Life After Fifty dinner and dance at the Eagle’s Roost Conference Center Saturday night.
In spite of the usual labels of “middle aged” or “elderly”, the group of about 45 — half the size of the event’s typical showing — spun partners, kicked up heels, did the twist and the boot-scootin’ boogie, slow danced and rocked out.
You would never know their ages unless you asked.
It was an alcohol-free event, but there was plenty of sweet tea and coffee to keep the group going until the event ended at 10 p.m. The attendees were served a chicken dinner with green beans, mashed potatoes,
salad and dessert an hour before the band warmed up.
The Jukebox Oldies Band, a live cover band, provided the music, all-time favorites from the 1950s, ‘60s, and ‘70s in a variety of styles from slow dance numbers to rock ‘n’ roll tunes.
In honor of the holiday season, the room was decorated in a Christmas theme with white streamers, a decorated tree, sparkling Christmas lights, poinsettias and candles.
The dances are held in the evenings on the last Saturday of the month, every two months, and are themed for the season. If live music is unavailable, a DJ will play the tunes, said event organizer Chris Bremer.
“We’ve had country and western, Vegas, a sock hop,” Bremer said. “We always make sure there’s a meal, so they can eat and dance - and they love to dance.”
The crowd usually numbers at above 100, but the flu season took its toll on the post-50ers, Bremer guessed.
“You know as you get older, you get more susceptible to illness,” Bremer said.
But the creeping crud didn’t keep David and Sue Moxley away; in fact, they have never missed a dance in the three years the Lake Park Chamber of Commerce has held the event - that’s 18 dances.
“You’ve got to stay young,” David Moxley said, explaining that he met his wife just 10 years ago. They are now 85 and 72, and it might surprise you to find out who’s younger.
“They say I robbed the cradle!” Sue Moxley joked about her husband before dragging him back out for another dance.
The Moxleys say they not only enjoy the dancing but also the atmosphere.
Alan and Laurie Davis live just five miles away from the Eagle’s Roost Conference Center, where the dance is usually held, so it seems strange for them not to go, Alan Davis said.
“We go to it every time we’re home,” he said. “September was the last one we went to. It’s a nice evening of entertainment.”
Bremer expressed that her only concern with the event - a peculiar lack of available men.
“We need some retired single men to come dance with these single women,” Bremer said. “It’s all good, clean fun.”
For more information on Life After Fifty dances, check the group’s blog at www.lakeslaf.blogspot.com or call the Lake Park Chamber of Commerce at (229) 559-5302 to join the email or paper mailing lists. Tickets for the dances are $25 per person.