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A group of 60 retirees wowed lunchtime shoppers at Lower Hutt’s Queensgate Mall with a Flashmob today.

The retirees – mostly in their late 70s and 80s – have been rehearsing their moves for five weeks ahead of the Flashmob and hid in the crowd before surprising shoppers with their dance routine.

The dancers were all residents from Ryman Healthcare’s Shona McFarlane, Malvina Major, Rita Angus and Charles Fleming retirement villages.

The aim was to put the residents’ exercise classes to good use and to show the rest of the community that getting old was all about having fun.

Jessy Hensen, a 79-year-old resident at Malvina Major Retirement Village, couldn’t wait to do it again.

“It was fantastic fun. I’ve had two knee replacements, two hip replacements, and I’ve got screws in my back and my toes.’’

“For me it was a great personal challenge – it showed me that I can do it.’’

“People look at oldies and think they’re on the scrapheap of life. This shows we’re not.’’

Ryman’s activities and lifestyle manager Nicki Brown said the Flashmob proved that it was never too late to tackle a new physical challenge.

“It just goes to show that no matter what your stage in life you can still participate in fun activities.’’

“We’ve shown that Flashmobs aren’t just for young funky people, they’re for older funky people too. There’s a serious point to this though – the fitter at any age or stage, the healthier and happier you will be.’’

All the participants are regulars at Ryman’s Triple A (Ageless, Active, Aware) classes.

“Our residents credit their agility to the Triple A classes. Without it they wouldn’t have dreamed of taking part in something as adventurous as this.’’

More than 2500 residents follow Nicki’s regime each week at Ryman’s 28 villages.

About Ryman Healthcare: Ryman was founded in 1984 and has become one of New Zealand’s largest listed companies. The company owns 28 villages and serves over 8,000 residents in New Zealand and Australia. Each village offers a combination of retirement living and aged care.

Media advisory: For further information, photos, interviews or comment please contact Corporate Affairs Manager David King on 03 366 4069 or 021 499 602.

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