Senior center kicks off new year

Tony White leads Alabaster seniors through their first Slowga class of the year. (Reporter photo/Christine Boatwright)

By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer

ALABASTER – When the Alabaster senior center moved into its current location in September 2010, about 100 seniors participated in the offered programs. Today, about 500 seniors visit the center for the vast array of classes and activities available.

“We’re so appreciative of the building, but we’re already outgrowing it,” said Senior Adult Manager Alicia Walters.

The participating senior adults keep Walters busy by consistently requesting new classes and activities.

“The senior population is changing and dynamic in what they want to do,” Walters said. “We do traditional and non-traditional activities. People have learned if it is at all possible and feasible, I do try it.”

One of the center’s new classes is a beginner yoga class, or “Slowga.” The class began on Jan. 9, and about 20 seniors came for the class with a 15-participant cap. As the class was the first of its kind offered, the attendance “exceeded expectations,” Walters said.

The Slowga instructor, Tony White, is trying to develop the class to meet the needs of the seniors in terms of safety, Walters said.

In addition to Slowga and other exercise classes, including Zumba toning, Zumba Gold and line dancing, the center offers gardening classes, Bridge classes, Wii bowling leagues and tournaments, painting classes, Bingo and more.

Maximo Sanchez and his wife, who are “big-hearted people” according to Walters, have been participating in events at the center since they moved to the area more than a year ago.

“We were looking for something to keep busy, and looking for something to do,” Sanchez said. “It’s really a very comfortable and friendly place.”

“It never ceases to amaze me they always want to do more. It’s wonderful,” Walters said. “I have to think outside the box, and we offer as much as we can. I have a great staff and city support. We just keep on planning and doing.”

The senior center, which is located at 1097 7th Street in Alabaster, has new expanded hours, and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Although, at 8 a.m., there are sometimes full card games going on,” Walters said, laughing. “I can’t keep them out!”

For more information about the Alabaster Senior Center, visit Cityofalabaster.com or call 663-1307.