Fun, games keep Martin Andersen Senior Center hopping


Tap dancers performed during an open house at the Martin Andersen Senior Center.

Courtesy of Valerie Alday

Whether it’s Tai Chi, Spanish class or a music jam, there always is something interesting happening at the Martin Andersen Senior Center.

The center, located in the heart of Rockledge on Florida Avenue, offers all sorts of weekly activities with friendly folks offering expertise and companionship.

“We have members in their 50s and into their late 90s,” said Valerie A. Alday, president of the center. “We have 300 or 400 seniors here every day, having fun and enjoying the activities.”

The price for the fun and friendship is affordable.  A yearly membership costs $15.  Classes are priced from $1 for Spanish or a crafts class to $6 for Tai Chi or Yoga.  Nonmembers prices usually are a dollar more per class.

“Our ‘busy fingers crafts’ class donates their hand-made items to the Brevard Sharing Center, local nursing homes and hospice,” Alday said.  “And, we have the whole range of exercise classes for all levels. We even have chair dancing.”

Anyone who wants to dust off an old musical instrument and perform should attend the weekly music jam on Wednesday afternoons.  All playing levels are welcome to participate or just enjoy listening to the songs.

“The Wednesday afternoon music jam is new this year,” Alday said.  “I like to be here on Wednesdays because I love listening to them.”

Ballroom and tap dancing are popular classes for those who want to “shake a leg.”  Partners are not required for any activities.

“There are a lot of people who live alone,” Alday said.  “Some seniors come here every day partly for companionship.”

Social activities are especially important for seniors living alone. Group exercise and a connection to other people can ward off depression and maintain good emotional health.

Many more services are offered at the center, including wellness lectures, bone building classes, grievance counseling and holiday dinners.

Visitors are welcome to stop in for a tour and to pick up a schedule or the latest newsletter.  The center is staffed by dedicated volunteers who love what they do.

Martin Andersen and his wife donated the property for the Martin Andersen Senior Center.  Andersen was a publisher of  The Orlando Sentinel, who was a key player in the formation of Central Florida’s road development.

The center’s schedule can be viewed online at

The Martin Andersen Senior Center is located at 1025 S. Florida Ave. in Rockledge. For information, call