Age is no barrier for this group

Age is no barrier for this group
Mrs Debbie Lee Lodge (in yellow) dancing with fellow members of the Ageless Theatre.

Once a week, members of the Ageless Theatre gather at Chuan Park, near Lorong Chuan, to work on their acting and dancing skills.

Now if you were under the impression that this is just another ordinary theatre group, think again, because the youngest member is 47-years-old. The oldest is 77.

But age does not affect their ability to dance, act, or move around.

The non-profit theatre interest group was founded in May 2011 and has since grown to include 28 members.

Come December, they will be putting up a production called The Big 'D' at Tampines Primary School.

While some find the idea of older people participating in such activities refreshing, others have doubts and wonder if it is too taxing.

But chairman of Ageless Theatre Debbie Lee Lodge is quick to allay such concerns.

Said the 57-year-old: "Older people being advised to rest more and participate in less strenuous activities is a prescription that is dependent on the physical health of the person.

"If one is healthy, I think they should be encouraged to go out and try something new and enjoyable."

BENEFITS

There are gains that come with such activities.

"Engaging in acting or dancing helps to keep the elderly alert mentally and physically, allowing them to learn new skills and find fulfilment," she explained.

She added that such activities help keep older folk connected to the world through appreciation of the performing arts. They also build trust and commitment.

"Most importantly, it enables them to have a sense of belonging to the community," she said.

Mrs Lee said she feels 10 years younger than her actual age, especially during practice sessions.

Keeping to a set of principles helps her to feel young and enthusiastic.

"Anger makes you age, and to be happy and youthful, I live by my 'ABC' principle.

"A represents Acting righteously, B is to Be thankful, and C is for Ceasing to hold grudges. You cannot let bitterness take over your life. Being youthful is to do and enjoy what you can," she said.

Her thoughts on ageing?

"Growing older is not a choice, but I feel blessed that I'm still around. I have dreams to live for, goals to work towards, people to care about and I'm looking forward to having grandchildren."

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