SILVER SPRING, MD (March 14, 2012) - Riderwood retirement community residents are putting their unique spin on the popular television show "Dancing With the Stars." They are tapping, twirling and sashaying in several dance groups to keep their bodies healthy.
Ballroom, square, line, tap, and Latin styles of dancing are on the roster. And it seems each dance step has its own story, especially when the steps are choreographed by resident Pat Martens, who once performed on Broadway and was a member of the famed June Taylor Dancers that performed regularly on "The Jackie Gleason Show."
Martens co-chairs one of the more popular dance groups, Riderwood on Tap, which combines the rhythm of dance with the slap, tap of their shoes. She coordinates group practices, while an outside instructor teaches each class.
Martens today taps for exercise. "Tapping is as much, if not more, of a listening exercise than a looking one," she said of tappers and those who watch a performance. "The feet constantly change to create different sounds. It helps with focus, coordination, balance, memory, and arthritis, and it keeps you moving."
Peg Custer, who co-chairs the group with Martens, also tapped professionally. They share a true passion for dance, which they pass on to Riderwood residents.