Article appeared in Andiamo! – Colorado’s Italian Community Newspaper, June 2017.
When you hear the music the movement comes naturally, regardless of your age.At Dance Connection, there is no age limit.
"I have clients in their 20s, 30s and all the way up into their 80s. My oldest client recently passed away he was 99 so I almost made it to a hundred," Maggie Francucci said.
For Francucci, dance isn't about judges and trophies. Her students get a combination of art and exercise for a different purpose.
"I have people who were worried about getting dementia who aren't worried about it anymore and it's so much more fun than doing crossword puzzles or Sudoku. This is really connective," she said. "And if they don't have a partner, they get to dance with me so they still get to do all of the functions."
Maggie makes sure that everyone knows they're a part of her dance family.
"Some of my clients are alone all week long. Some of my clients are single - either widowed or divorced - and the only person who hugs them all week long is me. So that's a wonderful thing," Francucci said. "And you can't get in and out of the studio without getting hugged once and hugged out again and your pockets stuffed with chocolate. It seems to make everybody feel better," she said.
The candy may be part of it, but it's on the dance floor where the sweetest satisfaction is found.
"I know I ramble on this but there's so many things here when you're dancing. And it makes you feel good," Madeline Stengel said. "I think you feel at peace with yourself. Maybe you didn't get all your work done that day but who the hell cares?" she said.
"You make a difference. You just make a difference and when they have the 'aha' moment and they go 'that felt good.' I can do that, I can do that pivot, I can lead my wife, I can dance with my boyfriend, they're all good. And I get one of those every hour every day," Francucci said.
(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)
DANCING WITH THE ANCHORS - Event photos taken by Gabriela Gj. with Gabriela G Photography on November, 12th 2011
MAGGIE FRANCUCCI & MARTY CONIGLIO - winners of the Mirror Ball Trophy