Dance group creates a connection with Calgary seniors

Panoramic image of the Praise Dance at the Panorama Hills Community Centre on Saturday, June 11. HAJAR AL KHOUZAII/ FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY

It was a connection through movement.

The Calgary Chinese Elderly Citizen’s Association organized the Dance and Move for Connection performance on June 11 at the Panorama Hills Community Centre to showcase dance performances to create connections with neighbours of diverse cultures and ages.

According to the senior program team lead at CCECA, Sam Wong, the dance is a celebration performance for Seniors Week which ran from June 6 to 12 this year.

“The dance is of connection. We feel that dancing connects us with seniors, and it also brings an emotional, happy, positive feeling to them,” said Wong.

The activity, which is one of two happening and organized by CCECA, consists of 30 participants over the age of 65.

Sam Wong, senior program team lead at CCECA, gave some words to the participants and attendees before the dance performance began at the Panorama Hills Community Centre on Saturday, June 11. HAJAR AL KHOUZAII / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY

“This is a multicultural community. It’s really important to learn about other ethnic cultures; how they are, what they do and enjoy the sharing of interests as well,” said Alberta’s Minister of Seniors and Housing Josephine Pon.

Traditional dances performed by seniors

The dance performed by the participants today was a Chinese traditional dance specific to seniors.  

“What we are doing is the Praise Dance, which means we are praising and praying that the senior is good and that everyone is very happy,” said Wong.

“Seniors are more amazing than we think. They’re more active and energetic, and they can learn something new as well.”

Pon opened the event with a few words of praise for the good work that was done in organizing the  Dance and Move for Connection performance.

“This association did so many good things. They have hundreds of program services provided particularly to Chinese seniors, and that’s very important because they’re one of the different ethnic groups who often have language barriers,” said Pon.

According to Pon, this week is special for all seniors as it shows appreciation for the contributions they’ve made over the years to society. Pon said the contributions of the Chinese community, in particular, are important as some of these seniors helped build Canada.

“This is a special day for seniors. It’s very meaningful to recognize the seniors’ contribution to Alberta. It’s grateful to see all the seniors are healthy, finally after the two years of isolations and lockdowns,” said Pon.

Photos from the dance performance

First sign before entering the Panorama Hills Community Centre outdoor grounds for the Dance and Move Connection event on Saturday, June 11. HAJAR AL KHOUZAII/ FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
Panoramic image of the Praise Dance at the Panorama Hills Community Centre on Saturday, June 11. HAJAR AL KHOUZAII/ FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
The Praise Dance at the Panorama Hills Community Centre on Saturday, June 11. HAJAR AL KHOUZAII/ FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
The Praise Dance at the Panorama Hills Community Centre on Saturday, June 11. HAJAR AL KHOUZAII/ FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
Community members from different cultures participated in the Praise Dance at the Panorama Hills Community Centre on Saturday, June 11. HAJAR AL KHOUZAII/ FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
CCECA members and dance performers with the seniors program lead Sam Wong and Alberta’s Minister of Seniors and Housing Josephine Pon at the Panorama Hills Community Centre on Saturday, June 11. HAJAR AL KHOUZAII/ FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY

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