The T ‘N C band played lively, rhythmic tunes, punctuated by congas and claves. Women in long, ruffled dresses twirled and cha-cha-ed around each other. A few men in fedoras could be found step dancing amongst the ladies, before getting lost in swirls of colorful flowing skirts. A woman draped the Ecuadorian flag around her shoulders and kept beat with her hips. Another woman held a sign that read ‘Mexico Lindo’ (beautiful Mexico) and smiled as she head-bobbed and shuffled across the dancefloor. From the sidelines a chorus of hooting could be heard over rhythmic clapping.
It felt like a Saturday night, but it was early on a Friday afternoon. If you looked closely enough, you could see the occasional dancer had a cane in his or her hand. Underneath the crowns of ribbons and flowers worn by the ladies were gray and white hair. What sounded like a club in Ybor was actually an event at the
Town ‘N Country Senior Center.
In honor of Hispanic Heritage month, the center hosted “Rumba Latina.” Seniors were invited to spend the afternoon dancing and grooving to a live, 7-piece band. Guests also enjoyed a meal served by the Vamos Columbian food truck. Well over 100 seniors turned out for the festive party. Those that didn’t cut loose on the dancefloor were watching and smiling, others tapped their feet and clapped along. The catchy music and upbeat energy were contagious. The T ‘N C band proved that classic Latin hits never get old and that music can truly make one feel ageless.
Hispanic Heritage Month
Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated nationwide annually, Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. It is a time to honor the culture, history, and contributions of people from Spanish-speaking countries. These include Spain, Mexico, Caribbean nations, and countries across Central and South America. Sept. 15 has special significance in that is the independence anniversary of Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. Hispanic Heritage month is particularly meaningful in Hillsborough County, where Hispanic Americans make up nearly 30 percent of the population.
Town ‘N Country Senior Center
The Town ‘N Country Senior Center offers a variety or resources to seniors (ages 50+), including group activities, transportation assistance, adult day care, financial aid for low-income households needing help with an energy crisis, and dining. Meal services are available for those 60 and older who are registered participants. The Center does not require membership fees for Hillsborough County adults age 50 and older. For information on registering, call (813) 873-6336. The center is located at 7606 Paula Dr., Tampa, FL, 33615, and is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
Learn more about the Town ‘N Country Senior Center.
Photo Information: Marisol Rodriquez, from Manaqua, Nicaragua, twirls on the dance floor.
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