In The News
May 17, 2019

Dancing with the Seniors: Nursing Home Residents Cut a Rug on the Dance Floor

Mary Wilson loves to dance.

For her first performance on the dance floor, Wilson wore a short gray dress with a rhinestone and feather headband.

“I saw it in the store and I said, ‘I know what I’m going to wear,’” she said.

Wilson, 67, a resident at the Heights of North Houston, showed off her moves along with other dancers who spun, swayed and moved side to side either on foot or in their wheel chairs during Dancing with the Seniors competition on Wednesday, May 15.

Her daughter, Keshandra Wilson, cheered on as Wilson cut a rug to “Mambo No. 5” with nurse Patty Hudspeth.

Kenshandra also cheered when Wilson returned in jeans and a long-sleeve shirt to dance to “Don’t Mess with My Toot Toot” with Natasha Brown, medical records clerk.

“She’s like an upbeat type of person. She always dances with everybody. She’s on the floor with us and she’s always been dropping it like it’s hot,” Keshandra said.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, Kindred Hospital CEO Angel Lozano, Kindred Hospital executive fellow Sohail Azeem, Michele Regan with Methodist Hospital and Kimberly Denson with the Houston Northwest Hospital judged the dancers’ performances on the dance floor.

All five judges awarded nine to 10 points to all 10 dancers.

Wilson said she learned her moves from her mother, who taught her how to dance the jitterbug and swing.

Keshandra Wilson said her mother had been at the nursing home since 2017 after moving from Louisiana.

Linda Collins, 63, danced to “At the Hop” in her wheelchair, which she had practiced earlier.

“I like the music. It made me happy. I’d do it again,” she said.

Nursing home administrator Erika Parrish said that some of the residents participating in the competition had previously been too ill to move on their own.

“Some of the residents that you will see here today have had debilitating strokes where it renders them unable to move one side of their body. One thing that strokes or any disease cannot steal from you is to have fun,” she said.

Patients range between short-term to long-term residents who receive 24-hour care while living at the facility.

At the end of the competition, the judges awarded Wilson a disco ball trophy, which she proudly clutched.

“It’s great. I got to be the grand champion,” she said.
SOURCE: Houston Chronicle : Mayra Cruz
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