N.L. seniors bust a transfer as they name for an finish to COVID-19 dance ban | CBC Radio

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Residents of a retirement residence in rural Newfoundland and Labrador say they need to be allowed to bounce collectively once more now that they are all totally vaccinated. And to make their level, they’re displaying off their strikes in a Footloose-type music video.

The video, launched Friday, reveals residents and workers at Alderwood Retirement Centre in Witless Bay, N.L., shimmying and shaking to Kenny Loggins’s Footloose, the 1984 hit that served because the soundtrack to a film of the identical identify a couple of U.S. city the place dancing is illegitimate.

“We needed for instance … how joyful persons are after they’re dancing, how fascinating it’s, and the way innocent and secure it’s as effectively,” Renee Houlihan, leisure director at Alderwood, instructed As It Occurs visitor host Susan Bonner.

“This technology of Newfoundlanders particularly, they grew up doing lancers and sq. dancing and the jig and the Newfoundland waltz. I imply, we have now dances that originated in Newfoundland, and the music and the dance actually is linked to their previous.”

The video comes after an extended, gruelling and lonely 16 months for residents in care houses throughout the province and the nation.

WATCH | Alderwood Retirement Centre presents Footloose: 

Alderwood obtained up to date COVID-19 tips from the province final month, Houlihan mentioned, and residents had been delighted that a number of restrictions had loosened, permitting extra guests and out of doors excursions — as long as everybody abides by the present provincial well being tips.

In line with a June 28 discover from Japanese Well being, the province’s largest well being authority, care residence residents can now “work together for all actions, together with eating, with out the requirement to masks and bodily distance,” so long as everybody, together with workers, are totally vaccinated.

Nevertheless, the announcement notes, “dancing is barely permitted at weddings.”

“They only took umbrage to that,” Houlihan mentioned. “They’d waited 16 months with no dancing, and so they love to bounce.”

Workers at Alderwood additionally joined within the enjoyable. (Brian Downton/YouTube)

She mentioned everybody at Alderwood is double-vaccinated, together with workers.

“We’re in a single bubble. We’re in a city of two,000 folks. Solely about 30 to 35 folks come to the dances, and so they actually simply wish to dance with one another. And so they do not perceive why, if not now, then when?” Houlihan mentioned.

“What are we ready for after 16 lengthy months of protecting ourselves planted within the chairs?”

Japanese Well being directed all inquiries to the provincial Division of Well being. As It Occurs has reached out to the provincial authorities for remark, but it surely didn’t reply as of deadline.

Renee Houlihan is leisure director at Alderwood Retirement Centre. (Katie Breen/CBC)

Earlier than the pandemic, Houlihan mentioned, Alderwood would host three dances per week.

“That may be their cardio in the best way that I’d go, you recognize, on a spin class. That is their bodily outlet,” she mentioned.

“They don’t seem to be going to take up, like, mountain climbing or kayaking or downhill snowboarding. That is their medium of selection for expressing themselves, and it is essential to their psychological, bodily and emotional well being.

“We have now residents who is perhaps not feeling effectively and so they do not come out for supper after which they hear … Gray Foggy Day, the tune, wafting into the room, and so they stand up like Lazarus and discover themselves within the room shifting and dancing and being joyous and blissful.”

Whereas the video is a protest, Houlihan mentioned no person broke any pandemic guidelines to make it. The residents maintained a bodily distance in the course of the shoot, and Houlihan was totally masked behind the digital camera.

No matter occurs subsequent, Houlihan mentioned the seniors at Alderwood are happy with what they created. As of Tuesday, the video had been considered greater than 11,000 instances, with an overwhelmingly optimistic response.

“To observe all of them get entangled within the political course of was a stupendous factor to see,” she mentioned.

“It doesn’t matter what occurs, even when the federal government would not mirror and alter the coverage, they really feel like they’ve actively taken half and have been in control of their lives and their future. And it offers them a function.”


Written by Sheena Goodyear and Keena Al-Wahaidi. Interview with Renee Houlihan produced by Niza Lyapa Nondo.


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