For our first trip visiting the Shawnee Senior Center I would like you to visualize this:
It’s approximately 8:15am on a bright Spring Tuesday morning and you are looking out the front door of the Center, there are cars arriving and you see people walking past the clock at the horseshoe drive definitely coming to the Center.

For our first trip visiting the Shawnee Senior Center I would like you to visualize this:

It’s approximately 8:15am on a bright Spring Tuesday morning and you are looking out the front door of the Center, there are cars arriving and you see people walking past the clock at the horseshoe drive definitely coming to the Center. Surprised? You shouldn’t be because they are coming to the Tai Chi class that starts at 8:30 and goes on until 9:30. As they enter the Center they log in to the Sign-In Sheet and head to the big room at the end of the corridor (that’s the Community Room by the way). As they enter the room they shout out a “Hi” to Sharon Autrey who responds back.

As it gets closer to 8:30 the room fills up and everyone starts finding a place to stand with room to move around. As it gets to 8:30 Sharon starts her Tai Chi class with some simple movements that get everyone loosened up and ready to go. There’s no new participants this time so there are no movements to explain and so it’s exercise time. Moving as a group they lean lift, then right, step back, reach forward all in an organized slow graceful dance. The mirrored wall reflects their actions back to them. Now if you’ve never seen a Tai Chi class and you have seen last year’s movie “The Intern”, Robert Di Nero was in his Tai Chi class at the beginning and again at the end of that movie. It was awesome.

But I digress. Perhaps there are new moves to learn this class and Sharon will explain them so that everyone can work on them.

She may call out different forms and have everyone move with them. Tai Chi helps with balance and relaxes your mind. As Sharon put it when I asked “this is not a class where you sweat”.

Sharon Autrey has taught this class at the Shawnee Senior Center for over six years. She was trained by Dr. Robert Lackey, PhD, who has taught Tai Chi to students who want to learn and become Tai Chi instructors themselves. Sharon is not only qualified to teach this class, she is also qualified to teach people to become instructors of Tai Chi.

Sharon has given demonstrations of Tai Chi with members of her class in places like the Oklahoma State Fair (yearly), the steps of the Shawnee Municipal Auditorium, and any place where people gather to see just what there is about Tai Chi that so many people enjoy the time they spend at classes and at home doing the moves. Sharon feels that once you understand that Tai Chi is easy for everyone to do, the movements are beautiful to watch and an hour of Tai Chi exercise allows your muscles to work with (as she put it) no sweating.

So come try the class or just come to watch at 8:30am to 9:30am on any Tuesday or Thursday morning. If you live in Meeker or Asher, call your town Senior Center and ask when Sharon comes there to hold her Tai Chi class. She’s there two days a week at Asher and one day a week at Meeker.

And remember at the Shawnee Senior Center, “Age is just a number.” The website is www.SHAWNEESENIORS.ORG and our Facebook page is “Shawnee Senior Center & Municipal Auditorium”. Hold June 24th for the “Swing Tunes in June” Dance!! “BeeGee”