Tap Dancing With Button Gloves
I dragged a little "Old Hollywood" to the senior groups this week The gloves with buttons sewn on the tips, were a big hit.
Feather boas helped take us back to the the Old Hollywood days. I played a recording of "Puttin' on the Ritz" while button fingers tapped along. We shared memories of our favoirte Fred Astair dance scenes.
A few recalled their tap dance shoes and some shared about dance classes. None of us had memories of being in grand productions, but the finger dances were stage worthy!
The old Modern Screen magazine brought back lots of movie memories. Many of the women in my groups were about the same age as Shirley Temple and talked about their Shirley Temple dolls. I played a recording of "Good Ship Lollipop" and a surprising number sang along.
We tried to remember what movies we saw when we were children. Mary said she remembered being dropped off at the movies to stay all day. I told one group about how afraid I was of the whale in Pinocchio, that I crawled down on the sticker theatre floor.
I asked if anyone could name a movie they'd seen more than twice. Quite a few had seen Gone With the Wind, numerous times.
Lydia remembered when her small Oklahoma town opened up a grand new movie theatre. The first show was Gone With the Wind. She went to see the movie, but the theatre burned down shortly after.
Red Carpet Talk
We talked about the red carpet and how the stars are always interviewed and asked about their attire. We wondered what kinds of dresses would be seen at The Oscars on Sunday night.
One new member to the group, shook her head with an annoyed expression. "I'm not sure what they'll be wearing, but you can be sure they'll be showing a lot of... " She waved her hands over her blouse and added "...cleavage!"
Each of the groups had a chance to pass the quilted bag around the the table and make a guess about what was inside. Only two in all groups could detect the shoe shape, through the material. No one guessed Dorothy's ruby slippers. The little shoes got us off on lots of discussion about The Wizard of Oz.
I played a recording of "Over the Rainbow" at one gathering. Judy's voice seemed to transport the group to another time. Many swayed and some sang along. I was concerned about the melancholy tone and switched to a different recording, by a blues singer. I was curious how they would react to the new voice that started soft and soothing then became more upbeat and jazzy. I looked at the faces and most had smiles as they listened. Then a woman at the end of the table smiled a secret smile and nearly whispered, "Soulful."
For 20+ years children have called it the Magic Quilt. They've danced and pretended all over these colorful squares. I've dragged it to schools, shelters and studios where children have climbed on top to hear Magic Quilt Stories and to act them out.