On Wednesday afternoons in The J’s dance studio, it’s impossible to miss the glow that Suzanne Eveslage has. During her weekly line dancing class, Eveslage’s bright smile lights up the room as she steps to the beat of the music, enjoying the class she’s taken for 12 years.
Her accent, which she is persistent in saying she doesn’t have, is that of a mix between all of the places she’s lived. A Montreal, Canada, native, Eveslage’s first language is French. She spent some time in Miami Beach, FL, and several years in New York. All of which are woven into her accent, adding depth to her voice, which is tender, warm and full of joy.
Eveslage is the epitome of what The J’s senior program is about.
“I first heard about the senior trip to Branson, MO, from Diane [Sadle] in my line-dancing class. Before she could get the words out of her mouth I told her to count me in!” Eveslage said.
On her first senior trip with The J, June 6-10, Eveslage was one of 46 seniors who took a bus to Branson, where they attended multiple theatrical shows and ate at local restaurants. It was that trip, Eveslage said, that introduced her to the most amazing people.
“Oh I met so many wonderful women on that trip. They’ve been calling and inviting me to bar mitzvahs and get-togethers. We’re taking a group to see West Side Story at CenterStage too,” she said.
Eveslage said she met friends she’ll have forever and she enjoys keeping busy with them.
“We all have common interests, I mean we love the arts. I love meeting new people, and The J has been a channel for me to do that,” she said.
Once retired, the former paralegal and her now deceased husband, Donald, decided to pack up and move to a new city in 2002. After visiting Louisville, Eveslage said they knew immediately this is exactly where they wanted to be.
“Our friends in Miami Beach would say ‘Oh you’re moving, you must have family there in Louisville.’ Nope, I would say. We don’t know a soul.”
Eveslage quickly found her niche in Louisville. Her luminous personality and love of the arts seemed to draw friends to her. She volunteers at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts as one way to stay involved in the world she loves.
“It’s really the people here that make Kentucky what it is. My husband and I both fell in love with the state and within one month and 113 cartons later, we became Kentuckians,” Eveslage said.
Although her husband of 22 years passed away four years ago, Eveslage has been able to keep busy and maintains an absolute thirst for life.
From going to lunch, getting season tickets to performing arts shows or just exploring different local towns, Eveslage keeps very busy with friends she’s made at The J.
“I don’t turn anything down. I’m retired, this is what I love to do, and you should see my calendar, there’s something to do every day! I believe it’s important to keep busy!” she said with sheer joy.
Eveslage said The J is the perfect venue for anyone, young or senior-aged, to develop friendships and to get involved.
“Especially for someone new to Louisville, like I once was, The J is the perfect place to become a member. There are entertaining events, theatre and even intellectual events,” she said. “It’s a very well balanced and diversified place to call home,” Eveslage said.
“The J gives me a way to stay busy. If you freeze up with nothing to do after you retire, it’s not good. I don’t have time to freeze up.”