Offering a little exercise and fun, line dance instructor keeps seniors feeling young

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PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. -- If you were to attend Rita Kinney's line dancing class, you'd never guess she was 92 years old! She's young at heart, and helping residents at a local senior living center stay young too by getting their boogie on.

"After I retired when I was 70, I decided I needed something interesting to do," Kinney said.

She holds a line dancing class once a month at Claridge Court -- a senior living home -- for any of the residents who want to come.

"It's been received pretty well I think, we have lots of lookers, and a few dancers," Kinney added.

She's lived here for two-and-a-half years, and started teaching her class about six months ago.

"I thought maybe there would be some people who'd be interested in a little more exercise, and fun," added Kinney, "we can all use fun!"

"When I came in and I heard it, it sounded like a lot of fun," said 82-year-old Mignon Hughes, who decided to try it because she always liked to dance. "She goes slow enough, where we can catch on, although the last class I couldn't get one of the things at all."

Hughes says people get a kick out of it.

"Well, at first there`s a laugh," Hughes said. "I have seen so many people that are over 90, and are just sharp as a tack, and going around and having fun."

Kinney says out of every activity -- dancing is her favorite.

"It's my life," said Kinney.

It reminds her of the days she did ballroom dancing with her husband, who passed away after 35 years of marriage.

"We met at a dance during WWII," says Kinney, "We danced a lot, we used to go to tea dances on Sunday afternoons."

When he passed, she started doing different things, one being square dancing lessons.

"I discovered that was fun, but I had to have a partner," Kinney said.

People she met square dancing suggested line dancing because she didn't want to have a partner, and the rest is history.

"I think a lot of folks are afraid to try it, sometimes I think I'll try and choreograph something where they can do it with their scooters... and maybe I will someday!" said Kinney.

Kinney says she'll continue to dance as long as she can.

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