Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company and Leonia Senior Center Bring Music and Movement to Seniors!

Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company and Leonia Senior Center Bring Music and Movement to Seniors!

The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Companywhich has worked with the Leonia Senior Center since 2022, is excited to announce two new eight-week seniors’ residencies, in both music and creative dance, thanks to a $10,000 grant from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts Creative Aging Initiative.

Since 2022, Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company has conducted senior Tai Chi Classes at the center, which have been well attended. The Leonia Senior Center serves the Borough of Leonia, as well as seniors from neighboring towns – the center’s classes, activities and trips are open to any seniors (55+) from surrounding towns.

“I am thrilled we will have the opportunity to reach more seniors and provide them with movement and socializing with this grant. Nai-Ni Dance company launched a terrific Morning Tai Chi class, and now with this grant, we can offer seniors Creative Dance for Seniors with Rio Kikuchi and Music and Movement with Julie Sung as free classes,” said Maggie Browne, Senior Coordinator.

The music residency will be taught by Leonia Recreation Center instructor Julie Sung from May to July 2024, in the Leonia Senior Center at 305 Beechwood Pl., Leonia, NJ. The creative dance for seniors residency will be taught by Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company member Rio Kikuchi from September to December 2024, in the Leonia Sculpture Garden, weather permitting, or in the Center when necessary.

By focusing on language accessibility, accessible space, and using Asian American instructors, the project team provides an environment that is free of visible and invisible barriers. The classes will be a welcoming experience for all participants, with proper respect being paid to the Asian immigrant participants.

In 2022, Nai-Ni Chen was a 2022 Bessie Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. Nai-Ni Chen was a force in the dance community with her unique choreographic body of work that fuses Eastern cultural forms of Chinese dance and the Western world of modern dance. Her vision of the immigrant’s journey of crossing cultures and adapting to a new home provided endless inspirations and opportunities for creative expressions that enrich the human experience.

Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company & Leonia Senior Center Partner, Image credit Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company