The Saline Area Senior Center is so much more than just a run-of-the-mill center where people might go to play cards or chat about the weather. The SASC is a bustling multi-room recreation and arts center, with so many possibilities to learn, play, create, and have fun, that it’s tough to know where to begin!
The focus of the Saline Area Senior Center is on wellness, covering both physical and mental health and wellbeing through their classes and other offerings. At the Center you can make appointments to work on reflexology, learn about footcare, or get a massage or a facial, or stop in to get your blood pressure checked for free on the third Wednesday of the month. You can also come use one of their NuStep machines - fitness equipment designed for seniors - which are available during all SASC business hours.
The focus on wellness continues through their variety of fitness classes. You can dance into a Zumba class, release your inner Animal with a Drums Alive class (drumming on a large fitness ball to music), or take Tai Chi, strength training, or yoga, among others! You can also join in on a Pickleball game, try your hand (foot?) at Clogging, play some Bounce Volleyball, or join the walking group at Liberty School during the fall and winter.
Wellness isn’t just a physical practice, though - true wholeness means energizing the body and the mind. To that end, Megan Kenyon, Program Coordinator for the Senior Center, is working hard to add many art and music classes into the mix, to give members a variety of creative offerings to choose from.
Once a month, seniors can meet with Steve Wood to paint a landscape using acrylic paints. They can also learn how to paint in the style of famous artists like Wayne Thibaud or Henri Matisse with instructor Soyeon Kim. Local artist Katherine Downie (author of this article) teaches a variety of classes at SASC, including Watercolors, Intro to Oil Painting, Zendoodle, Abstract Art, Drawing Bootcamp, and Papercrafting. And later in September, you can take Intro to Pastels with Debra Groth, learning how to “use pastels and produce bright and beautiful work.”
Whether you have any artistic experience or not, art classes at the SASC are a great place to give art a try. Most classes are for beginners, and as Kenyon says, “You’ve just gotta go for it...You don’t how well you’re gonna do until you try it.” Most of the classes include a small fee for supplies, too, so you don’t have to worry about picking up your own if you’re not sure you are going to stick with it.
SASC also has music offerings such as Evola Music Keyboarding with Patti Fry and Ukulele Lessons with Bill Militzer. Don't have your own ukulele? They've got that covered - sign up to make your own cigar box ukulele or pie plate banjo with instructor Bill Militzer in a two-day workshop coming up in October! And if the visual or musical arts aren't your cup of tea, try out language arts by learning beginning Spanish with Mayra Mendoza or Beginning French with instructor Fran Thornton.
So what makes SASC a good place to take arts classes? According to Kenyon, “They’re so inexpensive!” Kenyon and Program Manager Janie Colton also emphasize that art classes can be very therapeutic, allowing participants to focus on the task at hand, rather than the stresses involved in everyday life. And a big bonus is that the Senior Center offers members a chance to try their hand at art with little risk and low cost.
All of that said, many may wonder just what constitutes a “senior” exactly? At the Saline Area Senior Center, it has been a long-standing practice to provide services to the community on the continuum of all senior ages. Senior-In-Training (SIT) memberships include all those between the ages of 45-54, and offers a limited membership for $30/year ($40 for those living outside of the Saline Area School District). Those who are 55 and older and residents of the SAS District can become members for only $10 a year (Jan-Dec; $20 for non-residents). Give them a call or stop in to pick up a membership form and get a tour!
This membership allows you access to the classes as well as the facilities - a billiards room, computer room, library, and the aforementioned NuStep machines. SASC also has a variety of clubs (Bookworm, Woodcarvers), offers Tech lessons, holds discussion groups, euchre tournaments, craft groups, and of course, a senior center staple, Bingo! As if all of that wasn’t enough, they also offer travel opportunities both locally (Tigers game, ArtPrize, Toledo Zoo and more) and farther afield (Grand Canyon).
A few upcoming events include:
September 8, 8:30am-12:30pm - Rummage and Bake Sale - a free event! Participants have purchased tables and will bring in a variety of items; some will be selling some craft supplies (including fabric) and homemade items.
September 20, 10:00am-5:00pm - Trip to a Tigers Game
October 19, 5:30-7:00pm - Coffee with the Mayor, Brian Marl
October 30, 1:30-3pm - Halloween Party
November 27, 4:00-8:00pm - Euchre Tournament
Be sure to check out the Saline Area Senior Center website (link here) to find out more about all that they have to offer, including the details on the many art classes coming up this fall, or stop in and pick up a catalog. The Saline Area Senior Center is located at 7190 N. Maple Rd., Saline, MI 48176 734-429-9274.