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Encore adventures

From massage therapy to dance, this former teacher is loving life

Created date

March 21st, 2014
woman sitting on couch

When you talk to Barbara Davenport, you will quickly realize you are speaking to a person who embraces life, unafraid to try new things. 

For 40 years, Barbara and her family lived in an old church that they converted into a seven-bedroom, five-bathroom house in Silver Spring, Md. While living there, Barbara and her late husband raised ten children. She is now a grandmother to 22.

Barbara worked as an elementary school reading teacher and retired at age 62. Immediately after retiring as a teacher, she embarked on an encore career as a massage therapist. She completed a two-year massage training program, where she learned various techniques like cranial sacral therapy and Reiki. 

As a masseuse, Barbara worked at an aquatics center and later at an ice rink with a fitness center. She also volunteered to give free massages to new mothers at a local hospital’s maternity ward. 

Her other passion is dancing. She began with country western dancing in parks near Silver Spring. From there, she also learned Cajun two-step and Zydeco dancing. 

In order to more fully pursue her dancing hobby, she purchased a house in Louisiana so she could perform at festivals. As she got more involved in the dance community, she developed close relationships with bands and traveling dance troupes, many of which she hosted at her Silver Spring house when they were in town.

“We all got to be like a big family,” she says.

Latest adventure

Last September, Barbara began her latest adventure. She moved to



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