COLUMBUS, Ohio -- This pandemic has been called unprecedented by health experts.
One local 90-year-old woman told 10TV that she knows she has never seen anything like the situation the world is in now, but her hobby of line dancing is keeping her motivated through it all.
“Whenever we’ve had any problems, we’ve always been able to be with people; with our loved ones, with other people,” said Gladys Dillemuth.
Dillemuth has lived through a lot in her 90 years here on Earth but nothing has compared to the social isolation the world is faced with now as we battle COVID-19, she said.
“It’s always easier to face things when you’re with other people,” she said.
But line dancing is keeping Dillemuth motivated.
“Keeping physically active, to me, is really important,” she said.
David and Lynne Herman instruct Dillemuth’s dance classes through their business, Line Dance 4 Life.
“In line dancing, everybody is their own lead. You dance by yourself but you're dancing with 35, 40, 50, 100, 300, 500 people who are doing exactly the same thing as you and there's a strange amount of energy to that,” said David Herman. “You get the joy of dancing, you get the joy of community, the constant physical and mental challenge of memorizing long step sequences.”
Because of the coronavirus, the Hermans have had to get creative with their classes.
“Before the current crisis, we danced at real places with real people, shaking hands and hugging,” Herman said. “And now we do it from phones and tablets and laptops and such.”
The Hermans are using Zoom video conferencing to keep their classes going, which David says keeps people, mostly seniors, active, engaged and connected.
“I put on my shoes that I wear specifically for line dancing, moved some furniture out of the way so I would have space,” said Dillemuth. “I look forward to seeing Lynne and David and they’re doing the class just the same way as if we were there.”
It’s a service helping many get through this difficult time, holding onto hope they’ll dance together again soon.
“We will get through it and then, we will be, maybe appreciating everything a little bit more than before,” Dillemuth said. “Because now that we’ve had this time of not being able to do things, when the time comes back, maybe we’ll evaluate more what we are going to do and make sure it’s important.”
David Herman says that through the Zoom classes, they have been able to expand their reach worldwide, filling classes to nearly 100 people at a time.
Because of the coronavirus crisis, Herman tells 10TV that they had to make the hard decision to adjust their pricing.
For existing dancers and anyone local to the Columbus area, these virtual classes are free.
New participants or those outside of the area who won’t likely join the in-person classes beyond the pandemic, will be asked to pay $5 per month for unlimited access to the virtual classes.
To learn more about the classes and about the history of Line Dance 4 Life, click here.
The Hermans also started a campaign called, “K-Step 4 Kids,” which benefits the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital through their line dance activities, including raffles at line dance events across the country.
To date, the campaign is just shy of $40,000.
Learn more about “K-Step 4 Kids” and how to donate by clicking here.