Seniors at Mountain Park Senior Living in Ahwatukee are taking up a new activity once a week: singing and dancing.

Through a new series of classes, “Singing for Health,” about 10 seniors from the center’s Memory Care Unit sat in a half circle Wednesday morning to the class that aims to get them moving and thinking.

For most of the participants, Lawrence said they have improved in mobility like making arm movements, standing up more, and engaging with the class.

“Singing is something that is so social,” instructor Beth Lawrence said. “It’s a healing vehicle really, and the difference in them has been tremendous.”

Lawrence takes the seniors through a series of light vocal warm-ups, introduces songs for the group to sing together, and incorporates gentle movements like clapping, waving, and seated leg movements.

With an element of silly, Lawrence also gives out stickers and uses props like pom poms, streamers and hats.

“I’m really trying to foster them to go a little beyond what they think, it’s a confidence builder for them too,” she said.

Starting this week, her “Singing to Health” class is open to the Ahwatukee community, and Lawrence hopes word will spread.

“I’d like it to be in a lot of different places, so that more people can have access to it,” said Lawrence, who also offers the class specialized for Parkinson’s disease and stroke patients.

Hosted every Wednesday at Mountain Park, Lawrence drew a crowd of about 12 more seniors for the first community class this week.

Dean Savoini, a resident at Mountain Park, joined the group and said she has enjoyed the classes for more than just health improvement.

“We as seniors are more inclined to just stay in our rooms, and I’m the worst one,” he said. “This gets me out of my room.”

“Singing for Health” classes will be available ongoing at Mountain Park, 4475 E. Knox Road, every Wednesday at 11:30 a.m.

For more information, email Lawrence at

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or Follow her on Twitter @dmartinezAFN.

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