Always Active’s “Got Rhythm” 2018
“Our voice is our primal power and rhythm is the heartbeat of the universe.” With these inspiring words, Always Active opened its annual celebration of wellness and community, held in June at the San Francisco County Fair Building. The popular fitness program for older adults program has a lot to celebrate, with four new sites in 2018.
“Back in 2000, Dr. Anita Stewart of the University of California’s Center for Healthy Aging invited 30th Street Senior Center to be a test site for a community exercise and fitness program. Since then, Always Active has expanded like wildfire to 18 different locations in San Francisco, and now serves more than 900 diverse participants,” said 30th Street Senior Center Director Valorie Villela.
In 2006, the San Francisco Department of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS), led by Executive Director Anne Hinton, funded 30th Street Senior Center to become the lead agency for Always Active. In 2007, DAAS funded a citywide expansion of the program and the Center partnered with San Francisco Senior Center, Inc. and the University of San Francisco to bring Always Active to other sites.
Today, On Lok delivers and evaluates Always Active in partnership with USF, working closely with Dr. Christian Thompson, from USF’s Department of Kinesiology. Dr. Thompson has been engaged in research and community projects investigating the effects of exercise and fall prevention on the physical function of older adults, and he is the creator of Always Active’s Fall Prevention Program. A familiar face at Always Active events, Dr. Thompson welcomed guests to the celebration.
The event program included a recognition of Always Active’s dedicated exercise instructors, who brought the full house to its feet for several energetic group movements, accompanied by master percussionist Carolyn Brandy and composer and vocalist Amikaeyla Gaston. “We are in an extraordinary moment,” said Gaston during the stirring performance. “We must continue to dare, to hope—to be dauntless, fierce, fearless, brave, courageous, and bold, even when we are weary, lost, and alone.” The drums set the beat and as everyone stood up to dance, moving in unison like a wave, it felt like an extraordinary moment indeed.
Source: On Lok News, Summer 2018.
The 2019 Celebration will be June 28th, for more details and to RSVP please visit your Always Active exercise location.