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Residents Nonnie, 85, and Betty, 89, are shaking up their workout routine at The Buckingham, an SQLC retirement community, by adding a belly dancing lesson into the mix. The once-a-week, 45-minute class tuned to traditional Indian music is the newest exercise activity offered at the community. Nonnie and Betty both thought about trying belly dancing, and this new class gives them the perfect opportunity to learn.

“I’ve never belly danced before and it sounded like fun, so I decided to give it a try,” said Nonnie. “Turns out, it’s actually really hard! It is a lot of fun too, and when you think about a bunch of active seniors belly dancing for the first time, how can that not be fun?”

“I just love it!” said Betty. “Belly dancing requires a lot of coordination and thought. The instructor, who also teaches yoga, makes you concentrate on what your left is doing while you’re moving your belly and doing something on the right foot! I feel very accomplished after the class. I feel all pepped up and ready to take on the day.”

Nonnie and Betty both moved to The Buckingham, Houston’s premier retirement living community, around the same time 11 years ago. The two became friends through their shared passion for exercise and trying new activities offered at their community. Nonnie and Betty are inspiring examples of the Masterpiece Living® philosophy, which serves as the community’s foundation. The philosophy embraces a wellness-minded attitude and encourages learning by focusing on an individual’s key development areas—physical, mental, social and spiritual.

“Nonnie and Betty are stand-out residents who truly embody The Buckingham community’s platform to try something new and different at any age,” said Julie Fenske, executive director of The Buckingham. “They’re always eager to support other residents when they join a new activity group. Whether line dancing, salsa dancing or most recently belly dancing, these two residents have tried it all, and are fabulous role models in our community.”

In addition to belly dancing, Nonnie and Betty are avid outdoor walkers who also attend work-out classes three days a week focusing on light cardio, strength training with weights and maintaining balance and flexibility.

“My advice is to never stop moving,” said Betty. “Be active and engaged, manage your affairs and always do what you think is best for you. For me, that’s joining new groups, socializing through exercise and remembering to eat properly. I’m enjoying life more and more as I age.”