Staying in line

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 7, 2009

NATCHEZ — Every Monday morning Rose Blackwell puts on the same shirt and pants and heads over to Assumption Catholic Church.

There she meets up with a group of her similarly dressed friends and gets moving.

Blackwell is part of a group that has been line dancing weekly for 30 years, and Blackwell said the weekly dancing is a good exercise for senior citizens because it isn’t very strenuous.

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“It is exercise that seniors can do easily that’s not too energetic,” Blackwell said. “Some (dancers) are 93 and 84.”

The group meets at 10 a.m. every Monday in the Parish Hall at Assumption.

The group originated years ago as part of the Friends Five-0 program at Natchez Community Hospital and has moved a few times before settling in the Parish Hall at Assumption.

“I go to church at Assumption and knew that they had a nice hall,” Blackwell said. “Everyone agreed to it so we started meeting out there.”

Right now the group is an all ladies group, but it wasn’t designed that way. Blackwell said that is just the way things have worked out.

“Well, if men wanted to come then that would be alright,” she said. “It’s for anybody. It started out for seniors because we are old, and it was a way for us to exercise.”

Blackwell said the number in attendance varies each week with 15 dancers sometimes and 10 dancers other times. But no matter the number of people in attendance, Blackwell said everyone is always smiling.

“The music is great country western music,” Blackwell said. “We have about 15 songs that we use.”

Those 15 songs get the group moving for about an hour of fun-filled exercise.

While Blackwell has been dancing with the group since its beginning, she said no dance background is necessary to join the group of movers and shakers.

“If they want to come, they can learn it,” she said “It’s pretty easy to learn.”