Inland Empire Senior Dance Gathering celebrates its veterans

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Photo s Ricardo Tomboc pictured from left: Doug Sloney of San Bernardino was a member of the U.S. Army; Herman Schuemann of Redlands - U.S. Army; Wayne Moore of Riverside - Air Force for 20 years and a Purple Heart recipient; Dan Fredrick of Sun City - sergeant in the Marines; Richard Rivera of Yucaipa - U.S. Navy.
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Earlier this month on Tuesday, November 10, the Inland Empire Senior Dance Gathering met at the Highland Senior Center where they celebrated Veterans Day and recognized several veterans among the group.  This private dance group meets weekly and dances to live music provided by the “Art Cooper & Company” band.  Following all COVID-19 social distancing and face mask protocols, the group’s members mostly stuck with their own dance partners. 

Art Cooper (left), leader of the band, is 82 years old, plays the bass guitar and served in the U.S. Army. Danny McCabe (right) is the drummer for the band and is 81 years old who served in the U.S. Navy.

Yvonne Dandurand organizes the group and meeting locations.  Yvonne is a former AARP Chapter 224 president and has organized the AARP dances in Highland for several years. 

Yvonne Dandurand and Doug Sloney.

Seven members of the group, including two from the band, are veterans from various branches of the military.  Each holding an American flag, they posed for a photograph to remember this special occasion. 

Ray Familiar from San Bernardino and Virginia Petitt from Rialto.

Doug Sloney from San Bernardino and Herman Schuemann from Redlands were members of the U.S. Army; Wayne Moore from Riverside was in the Air Force for 20 years and is a Purple Heart recipient; Dan Fredrick from Sun City was a sergeant in the Marines; Richard Rivera from Yucaipa served in the U.S. Navy; Art Cooper, leader of the band is 82 years old, plays the bass guitar and served in the U.S. Army; Danny McCabe is the drummer for the band, is 81 years old, and served in the U.S. Navy.  All these men were recognized for their service and dedication to their country. 

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Herman and Paula Schuemann from Rialto met on the dance floor several years ago.

The Ballroom Dancing lifestyle is important to many of the senior dancers.  It not only provides them with exercise and coordination, but there are many other benefits to dance.  A dancer learns to be a leader or a successful follower, it develops emotional intelligence, builds confidence, and one can learn to be authentic in that one cannot fake to be a dancer.   

The Inland Empire Senior Dance Gathering meets every Tuesday at the Highland Senior Center from 2 to 4 p.m.  The cost is only $4 per person, but tipping the band is strongly encouraged.  Because of COVID-19, the number of dance participants is limited.  Bring your own mask, gloves, drinks, and snacks!  For more information call 951-470-9559.

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