Bob Zemburski of Hobart joins Liberty School fourth-graders in square dancing at the Maria Reiner Senior Center in Hobart, Ind. Friday April 12, 2013. | Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media
Bob Zemburski of Hobart hadn’t tried square dancing until a recent Friday morning at the Maria Reiner Senior Center.
But with such enthusiastic instructors as the fourth-graders from Liberty Elementary School in Hobart, he decided to give it a whirl.
Donning a straw hat on his head and a bandanna around his neck, just like the students and other participating seniors, Zemburski circled to the left and then to the right. Later, he replaced the straw hat with a set of bunny ears and did the bunny hop.
“I’m a little slow. If I had enough marbles, I wouldn’t be here,” Zemburski joked afterward.
Several seniors from the Maria Reiner Center joined Zemburski in dancing with the students, while others were content to sit in the bleachers and enjoy watching the show.
“I love being with the kids,” said Rita McBride, a Hobart resident and retired Joann Martin Elementary School teacher who had just finished the square dance.
She said she hadn’t been square dancing in 30 years, but enjoyed doing it again.
She’s also participated in the center’s walking club.
Liberty fourth-grade teacher Beth Dixon received an education foundation grant to provide three programs involving the students and seniors, including the square dancing.
She said the class came in January to encourage seniors to eat healthy snacks. They’ll return in May for Cinco de Mayo, when they’ll show seniors how to do a Mexican hat dance.
“The idea is to get seniors moving,” Dixon said.
The students also had a good time dancing, and visiting the gym in the police/court/community center that also houses the Maria Reiner Center.
“I like square dancing, but I like the bunny hop better. You get to move around more,” said fourth grader Steven Martinez.
Fellow fourth-grader Brian Rucinski said he had fun dancing, but pointed out he’s also played basketball in the gym before.