When Ida Poindexter Kirkendoll retired from federal service in July 2016, she knew she wanted to maintain an active lifestyle for the rest of her life. She now keeps herself busy as a fitness instructor and line dancing teacher whose passion in life is to keep Baby Boomer moving their joints with aerobics and dance classes to help keep their body, mind and spirit in balance.

Plus, exercise is just plain fun, according to Ida. “We have a good time in my classes!”

Her classmates echo her sentiments. “She picks the perfect songs to get you moving and pumped up from the first one to the last one,” said Gloria Sanders.

Two of her classmates’ favorite songs are the Juicy Wiggle by Redfoo and Tippy Toe by Jason Derulo and French Montana.


Cutlines: Photos by Melissa LeGates. Left: Kent County resident Ida Poindexter Kirkendoll started her business, Forever Active Lifestyle, to give older ladies, plus-size ladies and anyone with limited mobility the opportunity to exercise, have some fun and meet great people. She has been teaching Zumba Gold for six years, line dancing for five years and seated aerobics for three years. Top right: (Front center) Ida Poindexter Kirkendoll teaches aerobics to class regulars (Left to right) Myra McNair, Donna Dunbar, Emma Woodall and Gloria Sanders. Bottom right: (Left to right) Ida Poindexter Kirkendoll instructs Gloria Sanders during an aerobics session at the Modern Maturity Center.


The Tennessee-native tells everyone from seasoned gym warriors to couch potato aficionados that they can exercise and dance no matter their current fitness impediments. Her classes are kind of like an old-fashioned one-room schoolhouse in a manner of speaking where you will find exercisers at all levels of recovery.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests all adults, even those with disabilities, should fit in at least 2-and-1/2 hours of aerobic physical activity each week at a moderate-intensity level.

Of course, everyone should check with their doctors first but exercise can help control weight, improve mental health, and lower the risk for early death, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers, according to the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.

The Smyrna resident has always been involved in some form of dance-exercise class but she had to overcome her shyness in the teaching arena. So she has a heart of compassion for students who are a little nervous about starting something new.

Ida and her classmates want to dispel one myth concerning seated aerobics though. Just because you are seated doesn’t mean it is a sub-par workout.

“You would think because you are sitting down that you won’t get a good workout but we getting sweating in Ida’s class,” said Donna Dunbar.

Here are a few tips from Ida to have a great workout experience:

Get moving. Chair aerobics is something anyone at any psychical level can do, and it is important to keep active so obesity, heart disease and diabetes doesn’t take over your life.

Don’t overthink it. Aerobics and line dancing is just actively moving your body. No one expects you to be a prima ballerina in my classes. Even if you move in the opposite way than everyone else by accident, you are still burning calories and building or maintaining muscle.

Concentrate on what you can do and do not focus on what you cannot do… YET! Over time, I have seen student after student excel in my classes and become comfortable with more advanced moves.

Stick with it. You cannot expect to lose 50 pounds in three classes or less. Fitness just doesn’t work that way.

It’s a lifestyle choice. Not only does it take a commitment to exercise, healthy living is a must to any serious fitness routine. You can cheat every now and then but you have to make your health a number one priority.

When Ida isn’t chair dancing, you can also find her and her group of line dancing pals, called the First State Steppers, tearing up the dance floor at local clubs in Dover and Smyrna. You can find out the times and dates for her upcoming classes in the Kent County newsletter, by following her on https://www.facebook.com/ForeverActiveLifestyle/ or call her at (302) 653-8739.


Melissa LeGates is a professional writer and retired Air Force journalist. She specializes in long-form features and loves to write about living a victorious Christian life, art and health. She and her husband live in Delaware. In her free time, she is a student of colored pencil, watercolor, acrylics and oils.

She is also an avid blogger and currently maintains three blogs:

– PTSD/my first book “Set My Captives Free” launch at https://setmycaptivesfree.wordpress.com

– Her writing career: https://melissalegates.wordpress.com

– The world of colored pencil art and artists: https://coloredpencilenthusiast.wordpress.com.

You can contact Melissa at malegates@gmail.com.