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HandsOn the Community: “Moving to the Music” Teaches Seniors New Moves

May 29, 2012

Marie shows off a pair of booties she knitted for a local charity.

After volunteering for two years with HandsOn Inland Empire’s Knit for Need program, Marie Marshall came to a sudden realization: she loved volunteering so much she wanted to start her own program. With many interests and a love of helping others, she now wanted to do even more to assist her community. “My volunteer leader, Rachel, and fellow knitter, Susan, suggested I do something regarding fitness/dancing,” Marie recalls. “I often hear people say they would love to learn to dance but don’t have the means to do so or are afraid to do so by themselves. I thought maybe starting a free group class would open the world of dancing up to all.”

With that, a new volunteer dance program was born – Moving to the Music. Each month, Marie (a professional dance and fitness instructor) and her dance partner work with a group of energetic volunteers to teach new dances to seniors at a local senior housing complex. Sometimes they’re solo dances, sometimes they’re partner dances, but they’re always a ton of fun. “This program truly is a win/win situation for everyone involves!” Marie exclaims. “Volunteers and participants get to learn dancing and fitness for free and, most importantly, they are richly rewarded by spending quality time with each other!”

Volunteers of all experience levels are encouraged to participate in the program, as no specific qualifications are required to volunteer. As an aside, however, Marie does mention that it helps to have an “open mind and a heart to learn something new.”

Moving to the Music inspires dancers of all ages to learn and show off their dance moves!

Interested in becoming a Moving to the Music volunteer? Marie would love to have you join the program! Not only will you get to learn new dance moves, but you’ll meet some great new people in the process–and they’ll get to meet you! “I love people. I love the participants, I love the volunteers. I really like learning and I find by meeting and interacting with new people, I’m constantly learning something new.” One of the best parts of the program, Marie believes, is that volunteers can look forward to the same experience.

For more information on the Moving to the Music program, including its exact meeting dates and location, please see the calendar of events on the HandsOn Inland Empire Website:


This article is part of an ongoing series of posts highlighting volunteer opportunities in the Inland Empire. Stay tuned for many exciting future installments!


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