Greacian Goeke Encourages Dance for Adults

Greacian Goeke

Artistic Director, Impromptu No Tutu Elder Movement Ensemble, Oakland, CA

Back when I turned 50 I was struck with an inspiration that arrived as a fully formed thought in the middle of a movement class: “I will create a dance company for older adults to show the world what dance really looks like, from the fullness of a long life.” I was mainly thinking of people like me who longed to dance all their lives, but kept it to the side of their main pursuits.

Ten years later this idea has wings and many feet, in the form of Impromptu No Tutu, the elder dance ensemble I have been developing for the past 6 years. We are a fearless improvisational group of 15-30 members who come together for spontaneous public events, school collaborations, shared classes at senior centers, memorials, Dance Anywhere Day and political actions. We also are now developing performance repertoire generated by the members.

Impromptu No Tutu began as an ongoing creative movement class at the Albany (CA) Senior Center called “Freeing the Dancer in You.” Our community now includes many retired teachers and nurses, a dance therapist, an antiquarian bookseller, a librarian as well as members of Stagebridge Senior Theater in Oakland. Some are returning to dance, some have never danced, and some have always danced, and we are all passionate about it. The group's name was coined by one of our members and reflects our philosophy of Dance As You Are, no special costume needed.

I’ve just turned 60 and feel that in many ways my life is just beginning. I’m looking ahead with excitement to all I want to do with No Tutu.  I know this is the artistic path that will carry me into the far future, inspiring me to continue growing indefinitely. Finally I am doing what I have longed to since age 5 when I danced in the basement to my father’s Strauss 78’s! I’m equally nourished by the shared experience of teaching and learning from the No Tutu members (who are all older than me), as we bring forth the inner flame of our creative spirits.

Check out a VIDEO

- Written by Greacian Goeke 


As a retired educator, I reinvented myself. I too, took a movement class and decided I wanted share my love of movement (a lifelong avocation) with other seniors. We are on similar paths; however, my company, Mindful Moves LLC, presently serves a limited mobility population. I provide weekly seated dance classes to residents of Assisted & Independent Living Facilities, Skilled Nursing Facilities, as well as Memory Care Units. I definitely can relate to the notion of being "equally nourished" as I continue to pursue my Encore Career! Bravo to you for embracing this path.

Thanks for your comment, Cynthia! It sounds like you are doing very wonderful work 

I Love this!!!! .  I would love to do something like this in my area.  how would I start?    Do I need special training?   I am a massage therapist (for 27 years)  and a pilates teacher.    I find my deepest joy in dancing and hope I do it forever.  It would be awesome to share this with others as we age...fantastic idea

Hello Greacian,I followed the link to explore your work, and placed one of your videos (from the Oakland Museum) as amongst the best content about spirituality and aging on the web.  Subscriptions are free to Fierce with Age: The Digest of Boomer Wisdom, Inspiration and Spirituality at You are featured in issue #25. Carol

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