McCalla Sobers drops legs at 84
Breathing new life into the saying 'young at heart', 84-year-old Yvonne McCalla Sobers is encouraging everyone to embrace dancing.
McCalla Sobers, a retired teacher who is widely known for her work as chairperson of the civic group Families Against State Terrorism, was among the many patrons at Kingston Creative's ArtWalk yesterday.
The festival, spearheaded by the non-profit organisation, curates an amalgamation of artisan vendors among the murals on Water Lane in downtown Kingston on the last Sunday of each month. Active Immortal dancers had patrons moving, but to the surprise of many, McCalla Sobers kept up with the professionals.
"I've always been drawn to dance," she told THE STAR. "I didn't get the chance to go to dance classes but as an adult, I went to School of Dance [with] Barry Moncrieffe."
The 84-year-old Kingston native said though she's always loved dancing, her appreciation for the activity increased when she spent time in the African country of Ghana some years ago.
"I was fortunate enough to live in Ghana, Africa, for four years. I always danced, I always tended to, but when I lived in Ghana I learned to dance from my heart, not just my feet but the heart you know. So increasingly, I connect dance with my happy hormone. And my happy hormone with my overall health and dancing keeps me healthy and happy and joyful," she explained, chuckling.
Breaking down stereotypes attached to age, she said more often than not her joyful jigs are met with warmth rather than negativity.
"I get strange looks but more often than not I get warm and loving looks. I would say I get love and warmth and amazement, I do get that. And if there's anything that's kind of like 'weh she think she a do'. I pay it no mind at all, because it comes from a deep place inside."
McCalla Sobers stressed that the benefits of dancing cannot be overemphasised. Not surprisingly, she wants to see more seniors dropping legs.
"If I can encourage anybody, particularly in my age-group, to just come out and dance. Just dance because you cyah be sad and dance. And dance is just so much better than doctor medicine. At my age you plant seeds for trees that will never shelter you. In other words you don't do it for yourself," she said.