The following week we were invited to take part in a project of a special kind. Our organization Internationaler Bund Polska, yes, it is a German name due to it’s founding back in Germany. Of course, not the Polish office was founded in Germany, but the idea and the concept of the Internationaler Bund institution originates in Germany. Anyway.

Mentioned Project was about dancing with seniors. If you think about it the first time maybe adjectives like “Cute, slow or lame” might come to your mind, but believe me what awaited us there was everything but boring.  This group of elders rented a place in Tychy a city near to Krakow but besides a factory for beer nothing seems really worth a visit there and the city by itself is also not what I’d call a beauty.

To get there we had to take a bus and let me tell that I absolutely love to go by bus together with friends, even though people might look at us for being to loud. I don’t know what it is, though being together in a vehicle for more than 1hour always lights up a spark, making me feel tremendously happy, thus laughing a lot. And as we all know laughter are highly contagious.

As we arrived in Tychy, we nearly missed our bus because Emelyn and me were late making us have a sprint to the bus stop at 10:00 am just to get it in the last second, we entered a kind of meeting hall equipped with tables, chairs and tons of food. The middle was free of any obstacles and on the stage, they put up a DJ desk ready to play the latest hits of 1955 we joked.

Our party “evening” in senior slang, or afternoon in Youngsters slang started with presentations of several dances of the seniors which were preparing themselves since a year just to show of the dance moves they learned in that time, making our mouths drop open of astonishment and envy.

Those grannies and grandpas were awake, for sure alive and had the energy even we were missing. There was no such word as “break”, especially not for us boys. As soon as you sat down one of the grannies came and invited you to dance with her, because such handsome young men must have all the energy of the world. I guess nobody can say, that they danced together with a group of maybe 30 seniors or more Macarena or the YMCA perfomance, neither to go down with them while listening Reggeaton.

Within these grannies were two which defined the word weird anew. Weird thereby is to be put into the context of amazingly entertaining and joyful but also graving for the male volunteers. It is for sure another experience which I didn’t expect to make during this year to sway in the arms of an 65 year old lady, which is looking at me with her moon sized eyes telling me stuff in Polish I don’t understand, while I am starting to sweat due to the heater which was turned up to “Finnish sauna” and made the room feel like you’d dance through the Arabic Desert with Aladdin’s Jasmin on your side after she divorced from her Husband 20 years ago.

Of course, the Dj also played some of the songs we suggested and putting up Becky G’s Mayores in which she is singing about her affection against the older ones of our society you realize that you are living her dream she is singing about. What a life and time we are living in.

After we left that party somewhat around 9 you could see the exhaustion of each of us, creeping back into the bus, trying to reach home as fast as possible to shower and sleep. This time on the way back we were laughing less, therefore the darkness and ever repeating monotony of orange streetlights and racing cars made you lose every kind of time feeling and started a long conversation between Fabian and me. Those are the moments when you are in a car which should never stop. When you wish to just go forever on that ride, so you don’t have to get out of this cozy seat.

But we arrived back in Krakow, safe and sound, knowing more about each of us afterwards.

What an amazing event- and the grannies were already asking for the next one.

dancing YMCA with the seniors

Text by Sebastian, a volunteer from Germany, participant of the project “reACTogether” but also the support of the project “Mobility for Solidarity”.

The project “reACTogether” is organised within the framework of the European Solidarity Corps and financed by European Commission.