Each week with the veterans at the VA is better than the last. We are seeing more participation, more enthusiasm, more joy. Each week the Kairos staff and volunteers grow in relationship and admiration for these wonderful men.

I watched with amazement and delight as we had nearly 100% participation – arms were swaying, feet were tapping, shoulders were rising and everyone was singing. And when we did the Hand Jive the energy in the room was even higher. Tapping knees, clapping hands, rolling arms – the participants followed the leader as best they could based on their ability. It was a community acting in unison, together, moving rhythmically and laughing – a lot!!

We also tried something new – an improvisational game where the participants develop the story. We used cards to identify Where, Who, What, Why and When. We developed stories from the participants’ selections. As an example, one set of selections was an airport, a crime scene, and a sloppy person. From that selection, we came up with Detective Columbo at an airport chasing two criminals who had stolen the crown jewels from Dayton’s department store. The story became a skit by participants, the facility staff and the Kairos team. It was hilarious!!

The most joyful part of the session for me was at the end when we sang our theme song, “Thank You, Thank You for This Great Big Love.” We held hands and sit or stand in a circle. I was standing and John, one of our most quiet, reserved participants, was sitting next to me. When I reached for his hand, he not only took my hand but stood up on his own and began singing the words. We’ve only been going to the VA for a few weeks but the changes I have seen already have been magical. Seeing John take initiative was the best part of my day.

The benefits I receive from volunteering with Kairos increase with every session. Please consider volunteering with us. You will get more love back than you give out!!



The mission of Kairos Dance Theatre is to transform and revitalize individuals and communities. We work with older adults in intergenerational settings to liberate the healing power of interactive dance and story. We achieve our mission by engaging the skills of professional teaching artists.

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