GLENARDEN — When Denise Bryant was laid off from her job 10 years ago, she was lost and upset.
Unsure of what to do, she decided to take a line dancing class at her local community center. Her instructor noticed her talent right away.
“I would find myself teaching his class while he was teaching his class,” Bryant said, “so he pulled me to the side and he said, ‘Look, you can do this all by yourself.'”
So she did. Bryant now teaches line dancing to more than 300 students across the metropolitan Washington area.
Bryant teaches at community centers, nursing homes, and even offices. She teaches more than 7 classes a week, on weekdays, evenings, and weekends.
Most of her clients are seniors, but she says line dancing is for people of all ages: children, adults, and the elderly.
Earlier this week at Glenarden Community Center, Bryant held a class for 12 seniors.
Her students say Bryant has a gift for teaching. Eva Henson, said no student is left behind, and she appreciates that considering she’s still recovering from surgery she had last year.
“She’ll stop and show us individually if she has to,” Eva Henson said.
But most of the time the students remember the steps. That’s when the real work-out begins.
“It’s the exercise, I love the exercise,” Marlene Colbert, 72, of Bowie said.
Colbert started taking Bryant’s class more than 10 years ago, when Bryant was teaching in her daughter’s basement, to six of her family members. She didn’t think she had enough experience to teach at a gym or community center yet.
Now, Bryant performs at weddings and events, and offers private lessons.
And as for her senior clients, “I like making them feel accomplished,” Bryant said.