News and HeadlinesIndianapolis Local News


Dancing is more than just fun for Young at Heart Senior Line Dancers

Posted at 6:42 PM, Dec 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-12 19:39:45-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Step by step, dozens of dancers groove for two hours every Monday and Wednesday from 11:30 to 1:30 at the Washington Park Family Center.

"We just celebrated 15 years of being a dance group, Young at Heart Senior Line Dancers," said DirectorLilly Woodard.

You must be 55 or older to join in on the fun.

"We learn a new dance every week. It's a lot of fun, but it's also a learning process after all we are seniors and our oldest member in the group is over 85 years old," Woodard said.

Behind the beat is Jackie Armisteade — better known as DJ Jackie Jam.

"I love it. I just love it. I retired in 2007 joined them in 2008 and I have not wanted to stop at all," she said.

Guiding them with every footstep, twist and turn is Lynda Ford.

"I have a ton of fun," she said.

Ford says the exercise, fellowship and lifestyle change helps keep the group healthy.

"One of the great things about line dancing is the brain. We have to learn left, right, up, down, around steps to many dances and that is great exercise for the mind especially for seniors," Ford said.

It's something the seniors look forward to, but say the family center also needs more attention from Indy Parks and Rec.

"I know it's overlooked compared to others if you go to Brookside or you go to Riverside those facilities are really nice and they seem to upgrade them a lot compared to Washington Park. We are like the stepchild. That's what we feel," Ford said.

"We would love to have the gym to get a complete makeover, the restrooms need to be updated and it's not just for seniors. We have youth that come to Washington Park. They need equipment outside. They need the equipment on the inside. We need a swimming pool over here for the neighborhood children. We want this to be for everyone, not just seniors," Woodward said.

In the meantime, Armisteade has this message.

"Dance. Enjoy life because life is short sometimes and life is long sometimes so make the best of it," she said.

WRTV asked Indy Parks and Rec. if it has any planned renovations for the facility.

We're told the playground will be renovated through American Rescue Plan Funds, along with the circular driveway and splash pad.

The parking lot lights will also be updated.

Construction is expected to start in 2023.