Classes keep seniors moving to a new beat

Mary Johnson, right, and Myrna Davidsaver enjoy yoga at Branson Hollister Senior Center. Yoga classes are offered free to seniors Tuesdays and Thursdays.

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Stop by Branson Hollister Senior Center one weekday afternoon and you might be surprised what you see. Around 3 each day, the senior center comes back to life, people pour in, the music comes on and the lights go down.

Among a long list of classes and activities, the center offers Zumba and yoga classes free to seniors thanks to a Skaggs Legacy Endowment grant.

“I love it,” says Marcie Kerr, of Branson, who regularly attends Zumba. “I love dance. I love the fitness aspect of it and I enjoy the people in the class.”

“There are a lot of benefits to Zumba,” explains Holly Johnson, one of two Zumba instructors at the senior center. “Zumba helps improve balance and fitness. It can easily be modified and adjusted if someone can’t do some of the movements. The mental aspect of it is excellent too. If you come in in a bad mood, you’ll leave in a good mood.”

Johnson said the class also is great for getting seniors social.

“With Zumba, you are family,” she said. “We are not a dance class. We come in and we socialize.”

For Kerr, she also likes that it keeps her mind sharp.

“Another benefit of it is memory,” she said. “You have to memorize the routines and it requires you to follow patterns and remember the movements. I really love Zumba. It’s something I look forward to doing.”

Zumba is offered Mondays and Wednesdays while yoga is held Tuesdays and Thursdays.

“Yoga is really good for strength, flexibility and balance, and it keeps you in great shape,” says yoga instructor Marie Powers.

For Marge Schmitz, she not only appreciates the class and opportunity to attend for free, but that the foundation also funded the purchase of the mats and other items needed for class.

“It’s a great thing to just be able to show up to class,” she said.

Yoga, Zumba and other classes are funded by a Skaggs Legacy Endowment grant. The grant is one of 30 Skaggs Foundation funded this past year. Since 2013, the foundation has awarded more than $7.1 million to organizations like Branson Hollister Senior Center. To learn more about Skaggs Legacy Grant opportunities, visit To learn more about services provided by Branson Hollister Senior Center, visit

Zumba classes are held Mondays and Wednesdays at Branson Hollister Senior Center. The class is funded by a Skaggs Legacy Endowment grant.

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