Diane Cleary and Jack Ball were among the seniors dancing in a parking lot July 31 in Nanaimo’s Old City Quarter. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)

Seniors dance in parking lot while Nanaimo’s indoor dances are cancelled

Organizer said seniors were ‘bored’ without Thursday night dances at activity centre

Seniors have found a way to keep movin’ and groovin’ since the weekly dances at the activity centre have been cancelled due to COVID.

Bert Boucher has now organized three dances in the parking lot at his apartment building on the corner of Franklyn and Selby Streets, the most recent of which was Saturday, July 31.

“After the pandemic, everything stopped and us seniors, well, we kind of got bored,” Boucher said. “Last September, one Wednesday, everybody was depressed and they said, ‘how about having a party?’ I said, ‘where?’ and they said, ‘right in your parking lot.’ I looked around and I said, ‘why not?’ Three days later we had it and it was so successful that I had another one.”

A couple of dozen seniors attended this past weekend, dancing to live music performed by the group Blues Country. Boucher said every senior who was there used to go to the Thursday night dances at the Bowen Park Activity Centre, which sometimes drew upwards of 150 seniors.

He hopes to keep holding his ‘Parking Lot Pandemic Party’ dances every two weeks until events can move back indoors. The next parking lot seniors dance is tentatively scheduled for the evening of Aug. 14.

“There’s no alcohol, there’s no drugs, we’re just a bunch of crazy old people just having a good time,” Boucher said.

READ ALSO: Volunteers working on city’s age-friendly plan want to hear from Nanaimo’s seniors


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