They’re Dancing Now at the Vet Adult Day

Yesterday, Kairos teaching artists, intergenerational dance company, staff, volunteers and our long-time supporter Nancy Rayfield joined our favored musical collaborators, Irv Williams (sax), Peter Schimke (piano) and Billy Peterson (bass guitar) to help VA Adult Day participants, family members, staff and volunteers celebrate the holidays with music, dance, presents and treats.

We have been bringing our Warrior Dancing Heart program to the Adult Day in Richfield, Minnesota since July, but this is the first time we got to be part of a holiday celebration. Irv and the guys began playing “Let it Snow” with folks sitting and listening. You know me; I can’t just sit there and listen to dance music so I started swaying and clapping my hands and then before you know it I asked Steve to dance. He gave me a smile and slowly raised himself out of the chair. We started dancing in the back and within a minute I looked around and the room was full of people dancing; Vets dancing with their wives, family members, staff, volunteers and Kairos performers. The room was hopping!  I had thought we would have the band play two numbers and then we would begin our short performance. Instead, I kept asking the band to play one more – I wanted this room full of smiling, laughing dancers of all ages and abilities to just keep dancing.

Afterward after more dancing, a performance by Kairos performers, which included Eva, 2 years, Jack, 6 years and Chloe, 9 years and our three new dancers who have emigrated from Russia and the Ukraine, Ludmilla, Irina and Ludmilla. After Jack and Chloe helped hand presents out, photos with Santa taken and many cookies eaten, I asked a staff member if a year ago they would have had a room full of dancing soldiers and their friends. She shook her head no. “No, the other year we had an orchestra and everyone just sat like this:” she pantomimed sitting with a slump. This was great. You guys are great.”

The feeling is mutual. I never guessed the impact that this program would have on me. You guys are great: thank-you for opening your hearts to us. Thank you, VA staff for welcoming us and joining in our dancing and storytelling. And thank you dear family members; you are the unsung heroines and heroes.

May this coming New Year also bring you joy. Please don’t forget to keep on dancing!

Merry Christmas!

– Maria


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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