Another day, another exercising adventure for Hattie Saville. It's line dancing with the ladies at the Rehab Gym in Colchester. Today, she's also the instructor. If it's not line dancing, it's aerobics. She's in constant motion, moving her feet almost every day of the week. And at 87, the Burlington native is also one of the oldest in the class.
"She's great! If I can do half of what she does at her age-- I'm just working towards that," one dancer said.
"It's the song 'Fever,'" Hattie said.
She's got feverish footwork. They watch her every move.
Reporter Joe Carroll: Why do you like dancing?
Hattie Saville: 'Cause I've been dancing all my life and I couldn't stop.
She's got the spirit of a teenager, but she can't stand on one foot anymore and that bothers her. Otherwise she's as smooth as silk.
"The other teacher wants us to be Rockettes, I want us to be jazz dancers," Saville said.
The hourlong class is over in a beat.
Joe Carroll: This is one of your passions. What are your other passions?
Hattie Saville: Well, painting.
It's more than a passion, it's a job. Living in Connecticut with her husband and family, she found out that she could make a decent income selling her paintings and small drawings at weekend art shows. It enabled her to be a stay-at-home mom.
"And I loved getting up, couldn't wait to get up in the morning and start painting, 'cause I was painting for a show every weekend," Hattie said.
She has been painting for over 40 years. She still does some mail order work, but now it's more of way to keep her mind sharp.
Joe Carroll: How would you describe your work?
Hattie Saville: Oh, I don't know, fun.
Many of her paintings were inspired by looking out her window in Corinth. She and her husband, Dick, moved there after he retired. It was their dream home.
"The good times that we did have and I feel very lucky... we had something very special," she said.
They were married just short of 50 years when he suddenly passed away.
"The house was too much," Hattie said. "I didn't want to live there without him."
So her life came full circle, moving back to Chittenden County to a condo. She's been there for over a decade.
Joe Carroll: What keeps you going?
Hattie Saville: Well, what I have to do each day-- I'm so busy!
For Hattie, she says life's like a song: enjoy it while you can, ‘cause at some point it will be over.
She instructed her dance students: "Half way around and take a bow!"
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