This photo series documents the active social life of seniors in a small town in the Czech Republic. Despite their advanced age, these individuals have not resigned themselves to stop enjoying life—instead, they spend some of this time together at afternoon senior dance parties across towns and villages in the Czech countryside.

The entertainment portrayed communicates an essential festive dimension of human life, while showing us how much the behavior of the elderly can be interrelated with childlike playfulness and spontaneity. In the end, we see how our exploration of the unknown as children returns as a celebration of a long-lived life in old age. Hence, the photographic analogy to Friedrich Schiller’s famous ”Ode to Joy.”

This humanistic documentary series optimistically shows us how aging can be active and full of positive emotions. And even for the rest of us, who are still “young,” these captured moments can bring some small measure of joy into our hearts in today’s world so filled with negativity and fear.

The images have been taken at the regular senior dance parties held between 2013 and 2016.

— Michael Hanke