The Rochester OASIS Tappers are dancing their way to health

What better way to get and keep your good health than by dancing into it?

Since 1997, that’s exactly what the Rochester OASIS Tappers have been doing.  The Tappers are a group of men and women who tap across the city, at hospitals and assisted living facilities, demonstrating that it’s never too late to learn how to dance, and to stay healthy in doing so.

The group grew from dance classes offered at OASIS in Rochester, New York, according to Executive Director, Priscilla Minster.  “Participants have to take five levels of dance classes that lead up to the highest level, the OASIS Tappers,” she said.  Classes are taught by dance instructor Erika Atkinson, who has been teaching the program for ten years.  

“The classes provide wonderful physical activity for our members, but also fantastic mind exercise needed to memorize all of the complicated steps and routines,” Minster said.  “The group meets so many health needs – exercise, mental concentration, socialization.” 

The Tappers are in great demand, Minster says, and set a wonderful example in the community of what adults over 50 can do.  One Tapper, Marion Fahy, is 94, and is a soloist in the Tappers’ performances.  “She’s really good,” Minster commented.

There are 17 Tappers registered, and as more participants become experienced, they rotate in performances. The Tappers belong to a national dance organization.

If you’re in Rochester and happen to see a group of adults in brightly colored suits with much more than an average share of rhythm, chances are you’ve run into the Tappers!