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Senior Center water aerobics underway
Water Aerobics pic1
Jan Nollenberger, left, and Candee Matera do a partner exercise together during a water aerobics class last week offered by the Dawson County Senior Center. - photo by Chelsea Thomas Dawson Community News

Stepping into the pool at Veterans Memorial Park, seniors gathered last week to begin a water-logged aerobics class hosted by the Dawson County Senior Center.

In only its second year, the SilverSneakers "Silver Splash" aerobics class has had an outpouring of community citizens attend.

On opening day last week more than 30 participants attended.

"It gives seniors an opportunity to enjoy something during the summer," said Dawn Pruett, senior center finance liaison. "They can get in the pool to cool off and exercise at the same time."

On Thursday, seniors kicked, twisted and danced in the pool to pop and electronica music. One favorite combination was a modern take on the hokey-pokey.

Led by a team of three volunteers, the class also has a certified lifeguard on site.

"Most of the seniors that we have would not have another chance of getting in the water. There is supervision here so they feel safe," Pruett said.

Many of the seniors agree that the class is a fun way to get exercise, stay cool in the summer months and see friends.

Pruett, who will be on hand for most classes, said the aerobics class seeks to offer easily-adjustable combinations for all ages and abilities. The water also presents a unique environmental challenge.

"It's a good type of exercise because water makes the workout a little bit more difficult. So I feel like they're doing more exercise than they would normally with outside aerobics," she said.

So far a total of 50 seniors have requested to participate in the program, according to officials.

Pruett said the class is part of a larger, federal SilverSneakers program. For every applicable senior that participates the center is granted $3.

"If participants qualify under the SilverSneakers program then Dawson County gets $3 for every time they participate in any of our programs. It helps offset the cost of instructors, our time for supervision and any equipment that we have to purchase," Pruett said.

Pruett said that the response to the program has been great thus far.

"Today is only our second day, but there has already been some excitement, she said. "While we have got seniors out there that come to the park every day ... we do have people that come just for this class."

Participants must be 60 years or older or the spouse of an eligible client.

They also must be "ambulatory with or without assistance devices, be able to perform activities of daily living independently ... [and] complete necessary enrollment forms," according to the center's Web site.

The class is offered at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at the pool at Veterans Memorial Park at 186 Recreation Road off Hwy. 9 North.

Participates must pre-register by calling the center at (706) 344-3700.