November 21, 2013

Anadarko troupe brings joy to nursing home

Jessica Lane, Staff Writer,
The Express-Star


The residents at Shanoan Springs Retirement and Rehabilitation got a very special Thanksgiving party courtesy of the Anadarko Dance Troupe. 

Before their performance, the dancers shook hands with each of the residents who filled the perimeter of the facility's dining and living area. 

"I'm real excited about you all coming," one resident said as she shook the hand of a small dancer. 

The residents waited in anticipation for the dancing to begin. Many were smiling before the first drum was beat or the first moccasin took the floor. 

About 21 dancers, ranging in age from pre-K to high school age, performed several traditional Native American dances including the snake dance, fancy dance, chicken dance and grass dance. 

Each dance holds a specific, cultural meaning for the Native Americans, Cochran said. The performance provided not only entertainment, but historical and cultural appreciation for the residents, some who are of Native American decent. 

The colorful, elaborate costumes of the dancers captured the attention of the residents, and many enthusiastically applauded each dance. 

Renny Cochran, Shanoan Springs Activities Director, told the gathered crowd of residents that she has watched some of the dancers grow up over the years. As an activities director, Cochran has scheduled the dance troupe for various events for ten years. 

The performance was not only a Thanksgiving celebration, it was also to celebrate Native American History Month, Cochran said.