Last Sunday Justin Cole from Joy in Motion chose “Old Times Rock n Roll” as the song choice for our Mindful Littles Groovin’ for Good dance, and the lyrics couldn’t have be more appropriate. The event definitely was one that “soothed the soul,” and there were tears, laughter and a lot of hugs from littles, bigs and seniors alike.
At the start of our event, like all Mindful Littles events, I spoke to our littles about why we were doing a dance for and spending time with seniors- drawing on my own personal experiences with my maternal grandmother. Coincidentally, our event was on the 20th anniversary of my grandmother’s death, which made it a little extra special for my family. After we chatted about why we were there, we spent the bulk of our time learning a fun and simple dance routine from Justin. We then walked over to the Orinda Senior Village, where we got a chance to perform the dance. We also got to see a couple of additional dance routines performed by four adorable Joy in Motion dancers. The seniors were glowing during the entire performance- full of smiles. The positive energy in the room was palpable. After the show our littles and seniors got to meet and mingle, and even had a chance to exchange mailing addresses to become pen pals.
There’s been a lot of research about the benefits of intergenerational connections- from documentaries such as “The Growing Season” to advocacy groups such as Generations United promoting awareness around the cause. There are intergenerational daycares and schools that are popping up around the country so that the very young and very old can help each other learn and grow. The trailer for “The Growing Season” shares that “43% of older adults experience social isolation, which is closely correlated with loneliness and depression as well as mental and physical decline.” Just after one Groovin’ for Good event, it’s clear how much joy our littles can bring to the aging population, and how much our littles can learn from the seniors. This is why Mindful Littles is actively developing more intergenerational programs so that we can transcend age gaps and boundaries to create friendships between two demographic groups who have a lot to gain from one another.
We are extremely grateful to Justin and the entire Joy in Motion team to help make this event a reality. We are grateful to Eartha Newsong and Orinda Senior Village for welcoming us with open arms for this heartfelt event. We are grateful to Cathy Goshorn, the ride coordinator for with the Orinda Association’s Seniors Around Town program, for being such a strong advocate of Mindful Littles. We are grateful to Sharon Petrowsky, Danielle Castro and Kelsey Peterson for offering extra helping hands. And most importantly, we are grateful to all the littles who danced their hearts out to brighten up the day for many seniors in our community. #groovinforgood