News & Events
July 15, 2013
Denna Yockey has a passion for line dancing and for the wonderful people who love to dance!
By Carol Gillen
Denna Yockey has been teaching line dancing, in Kansas and in North Carolina, for more than fifteen years. She feels such passion for it because she believes "it enriches people in this stage of their lives and, at the same time, improves them both physically and mentally." She also considers line dancing a social outlet. She gets the biggest boost when someone tells her how wonderful they feel and how much they have improved in her classes. "I like to challenge people. They always tell me they like my enthusiasm and enjoyment for what I do."
Denna, who hails from Kansas, had her own business as a hairdresser for twenty-five years. She enjoyed this field because she enjoys people and making them feel good about themselves. When she was ready to semi-retire, she considered Colorado, where one of her daughters lives, or Asheville, where her other daughter resides. She says it was "no contest...Asheville was so much more appealing to me." For a few months after she moved here in 2008, she worked as an administrative assistant to the head of workforce development at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College (A-B Tech.) Then, to free up her days, she went to work evenings as a Recreation Assistant at Stephens Lee Parks and Recreation Center.
After leaving A-B Tech, Denna started to teach line dancing part time, both at OLLI and at other locations in town, including Harvest House and Givens Estates. She wanted to work with and teach older adults because she feels that they work the hardest. She says, "These are active seniors. They have time and are dedicated students." Courses she teaches include beginner, high beginner, and intermediate line dancing. Her goal is to get people hooked on line dancing and to have folks to enjoy it as much as possible. In addition to teaching, she has participated in flash mobs, performed in nursing homes, danced at Asheville Tourist games, and entertained at events at OLLI and elsewhere.
This busy lady teaches many different groups six days a week at lots of locations, including the Senior Opportunity Center, the Elks, and various religious institutions in Asheville. "I teach about eighteen hours a week. In addition, I put in many hours at my computer doing background work. For example, I email dance routines and steps and schedules to my students."
Denna wants to let everyone know how much she admires OLLI and especially the dedication of our staff. Her main goal is to "keep on dancing and enjoying the people I have met. I am so blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life." And we are blessed to know Denna, both through classes and her many performances.