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Patrons at a Michigan club counter isolation's bad health effects with dance moves


The patrons at a club in Ann Arbor, Mich., aren't your average dance club crowd. Most of them are over 60, like Randy Tessier.

RANDY TESSIER: We're a bunch of people that have been dancing in Ann Arbor for 50 years. And you know what? We got old. We can't help that.


Tessier lines up the musical guests for a Friday night event named Ann Arbor Happy Hour, hosted by a nightclub called Live. Tessier is a writing teacher by day and a performer by night.

TESSIER: Like Shakey Jake used to say, I'm on the move. You got to keep moving in this world. But you need to love and be loved. That keeps you alive.

MARTÍNEZ: Alive is what this older crowd feels like on the dance floor, according to Maggie Levenstein at the University of Michigan. She works with data from the university's health and retirement study.

MAGGIE LEVENSTEIN: We know that being engaged with others helps people to be happier as they age and to be healthier as they age. Obviously, these things aren't guarantees. And being healthier helps you to stay active. So these things reinforce one another.

INSKEEP: And it's good to be reminded of all this after the isolation of the pandemic.

LEVENSTEIN: As people age, people are often isolated. Their kids are not there. They might not be going into the workplace in the same way.

INSKEEP: But they can try community building through dancing.


STEVIE WONDER: (Singing) I was born in Little Rock. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.