Just for kicks: Group of senior dancers have all the right moves
by Lindsay Field
May 31, 2013 12:00 AM | 2561 views | 2 2 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Kathy Seraphine performs with the Kickers of east Cobb at Arbor Terrace on Thursday afternoon.<br>Staff/Laura Moon
Kathy Seraphine performs with the Kickers of east Cobb at Arbor Terrace on Thursday afternoon.
Staff/Laura Moon
slideshow
The group is made up of women ages 60 and older and is looking for new dancers.<br>Staff/Laura Moon
The group is made up of women ages 60 and older and is looking for new dancers.
Staff/Laura Moon
slideshow
Kicker Jan Clos, right, greets Ruth Hall after the performance. When you perform for somebody, you get more back than you give,’ said Clos, a retired Cobb County educator. ‘It’s very uplifting to both the audiences and us, and we enjoy meeting new people.’<br>Staff/Laura Moon
Kicker Jan Clos, right, greets Ruth Hall after the performance. When you perform for somebody, you get more back than you give,’ said Clos, a retired Cobb County educator. ‘It’s very uplifting to both the audiences and us, and we enjoy meeting new people.’
Staff/Laura Moon
slideshow
MARIETTA — For more than 20 years, women ages 60 and older have been performing all over metro Atlanta to not just entertain but promote the benefits of staying active.

The Kickers were formed in 1992 at the McCleskey-East Cobb Family YMCA after the founding member and previous director Judy Guard returned from seeing the Dancing Grannies perform in Minnesota.

Brenda Smith, 63, is the newest director. She took over two years ago and has been with the group for 16 years.

“I love to dance and it’s just a great group of ladies,” Smith said. “We feel like we’re doing some good going out in the community and bringing them a little cheer for the day by performing.”

She is the youngest of about 25 women who perform in about 30 shows each year between September and June at assisted living and personal care centers, rehabilitation centers, support groups, senior church groups, educational seminars and health fairs.

“We’re like a much older Rockettes,” Smith said. “We move a little slower, kick a little lower but wear a whole lot more.”

Members make their own costumes, which are decked out with rhinestones, sequins and bright colors, and practice their routines twice a week at the McCleskey YMCA off East Piedmont Road in Marietta.

One of the oldest members is 82-year-old Joan O’Connor of Kennesaw, who joined the group 20 years ago.

“I always wanted to take dancing classes when I was little but I was one of eight children and we could never afford the classes,” she said. “When I read about the Kickers after they organized, I thought, ‘I can finally take dance classes!”

She also has enjoyed the comradery of the group and how they support each other through surgeries, illnesses or family losses.

“We boost each other … the morale of each other,” she said.

Shelby Prather of Marietta joined the group around seven years ago.

“I love any kind of dancing,” she said. “(The Kickers) bring good cheer to many in the community and inspire other seniors to stay active.”

She also square dances with her husband and the Silver Stars out of east Cobb.

Former Cobb County educator Jan Clos was introduced to the Kickers by two other members after she retired many years ago.

“I just fell in love with their dancing and they were very positive and,” she said. “When you perform for somebody, you get more back than you give … it’s very uplifting to both the audiences and us and we enjoy meeting new people.”

The group will begin practicing this summer and is looking for new dancers. There are no requirements to be a part of the group but if you are not a member of the local YMCA, there is a $25 monthly charge.

For more information, call Smith at 678-591-1315.
Comments
(2)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
Tina Delong
|
June 02, 2013
Thank you for dancing for the community! From past experience, I know the families of the folks in the retirement homes feel so blessed that you have taken an interest in their loved ones. Many of us appreciate all the practice and work, and it's uplifting to read in the MDJonliine about the team friendhsips and enjoyment. Thanks!
Retiree1
|
May 31, 2013
I know you all are having fun--my mom was in a clogging group until age 80, Your white shirts and red hats are great, but oh, the pink and black--everything is wrong with those. Definitely fits into the "what were you thinking" category.
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides