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Tap dancing at any age

April 14, 2016
by Nicole Stempak, Senior Editor
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Arne Mayala wanted to tap dance. Now he’s helping residents at an assisted living facility dance, too.

Mayala, an 85-year old Navy veteran, went for a tax appointment at an accounting firm upstairs when he saw the Dance Tech Studios in Forest Lake, Minn.

He always enjoyed movies with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, and taking tap dance lessons was on his bucket list, says wife Carol Mayala to local NBC affiliate KARE 11. Mayala decided it was finally time to put on his dancing shoes. Or at least try.

"Tried to put the left shoe on my right foot," he deadpans. "Maybe that would straighten things out for me."

Mayala had fallen the day of his first lesson, and studio owner Robin Lind saw how much dancing elevated his spirits. She was so moved watching Mayala that she and a few students have started giving tap lessons at the assisted living facility where her mother lives.

"It’s such a great thing to watch," Lind says.

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