Dance Troop age 60 and over

In front, Penny Priess, left, and Linda Elgin, right, tap dance with their dance group for those older than age 60. In this photo, dancers are age 70 to 85, according to Elgin, who serves as director of the group. 

MANSFIELD -- Penny Priess began dancing at age 4. She danced competitively and even opened up a studio.

"It's something I've done all my life," she said.

After retirement she found a tap dancing group for those over the age of 60, she knew she wanted to be a part of it.

The Strut Your Stuff group, sponsored by the Council on Aging, practices Monday mornings at the Richland Academy of the Arts. The group performs several times a week at nursing homes, care centers, churches and civic groups in Richland, Ashland and Knox County. The group performs once or twice a week in general.

Ruthie Good, one of the dancers, said it's been a busy season.

"It's our way of giving back to the community," director Linda Elgin said. "It keeps us in shape and when we perform, we get more out of it than we give quite honestly. It just keeps us going, keeps us moving. We've become a tap family."

The dance troop, Priess said, has helped her garner new friends.

"We just all gel together here," she said of the 11 dancers. "We have everything here. We have exercise, working of our minds and great social life here. We go to lunches after class."

This dance group is a closed group, but there is a second Strut Your Stuff tap group looking for dancers.

The class is paid for through a grant and there is no charge for dancers.

Other Area Agency on Aging classes at the Academy of Arts are keyboarding (piano) and guitar classes. Those may have small fees for printing materials.

Interested persons can call the Academy for enrollment.

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