Senior Dance at the Admiral Coontz Armory

YT-Senior DanceHannibal resident Ardella Maddox is all smiles as she takes a spin on the dance floor with partner Richard Hamm during a recent Senior Dance at the Admiral Coontz Armory in Hannibal, Mo. The dances originated in the mid-1970s. Since then couples have been enjoying waltzes, two-steps and the occasional square dance each and every Wednesday come rain or shine. The Uptown Strings Band provides the music now, and a carry-in lunch is often part of the festivities. The group used to see about 100 dancers turn out each week, but those numbers have dwindled over the years. Now, anywhere from 35-50 area residents show up to take a spin on the dance floor with loved ones and friends. (H-W Photo/Phil Carlson)

YT-Senior DanceThe Uptown Strings provide a steady stream of old-time melodies for couples to dance to during the weekly Senior Dances held Wednesdays at the Admiral Coontz Armory in Hannibal, Mo. (H-W Photo/Phil Carlson)

YT-Senior DanceVirgil Watts is all smiles while playing electric guitar in the Uptown Strings band during one of the recent dance at the Admiral Coontz Armory in Hannibal, Mo. Watts also plays a non-pedal steel guitar at the weekly event. (H-W Photo/Phil Carlson)

YT-Senior DanceWith the lightest touch, Norris Otten deftly leads partner Mary Lou Nichols around the dance floor at the Admiral Coontz Armory. Age is just a number at the event, as many of the dancers are octogenarians, with some in their 90s. (H-W Photo/Phil Carlson)

YT-Senior DanceHannibal resident Dorothy Marshall lets out a laugh with dance partner Howard Lake, of Philadelphia, Mo., as the pair take a break from dancing at the Admiral Coontz Armory in Hannibal, Mo. Asked what was so funny, Marshall replied: “It’s hard to tell. We sit over here and tell jokes and laugh at everything.” Marshall has been attending the dances since 1993, while Lake is a relative newcomer. (H-W Photo/Phil Carlson)

YT-Senior DanceDancers watch the action on the floor as they visit with one another  during a Senior Dance at the Admiral Coontz Armory in Hannibal, Mo. (H-W Photo/Phil Carlson)

YT-Senior DanceA set list for the Uptown Strings Band might as well be a foreign language to today’s youth, but the songs are as familiar as a favorite quilt to those attending the Senior Dance at the Admiral Coontz Armory. (H-W Photo/Phil Carlson)

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