WHITEHOUSE (KYTX) - A lot of people who dance don't think of it as a workout, but research shows it can improve your heart health, physical fitness, weight and your memory.
There are so many types of dancing. One style that's keeping East Texas seniors on their toes is line dancing.
Line dancing is now the third most popular extracurricular activity in the world for people over 50. The TASCA Triple Steppers perform all over East Texas for nursing homes and retirement homes, which is a workout in itself, but that takes hours of practice.
When Carolyn Cottrill hits the dance floor, you'd never know, she is 85. "It energizes me. It just makes me happy," says Carolyn Cottrill.
Carolyn is one of the TASCA Triple Steppers. "Some people choose weights and walking and those are not my favorite things, so I dance," says Carolyn.
While Carolyn says she's past being in great shape, she does appreciate the workout line dancing gives her. "I like the rhythm. I like moving, the dance steps and you can laugh at yourself when you mess up, which is often and there is just a great comradery with the dancers," says Carolyn.
She and her fellow dancers practice twice a week for 3 hours. "For one thing it is good physical exercise, but it is also good mental exercise," says Kay Spradlin, Instructor.
Line dance instructor Kay Spradlin says the class, filled with salsa, samba, ballroom and country line dances, prepares the seniors for big events like "Dance into Spring." "We have a list of dances we spend a year working on, then we get together and dance these dances," says Kay.
Kay says line dancing is just as good for her students mental fitness as their physical fitness.
"I thought I am never going to learn this, but I just kept at it, but yes, it was everything I wanted it to be," says Carolyn.
The Triple Steppers are trying to change the perception of aging-- "one line dance at a time-- adding years to one's life and life to one's years."
Line dancing has also been proven to increase balance control and mobility for seniors, without doing joint damage. And line dancing isn't just for the ladies, there were lots of guys out "grapevining" across the dance floor.