Dixie Burmeister's guests this week will keep you smiling, tapping your feet and in disbelief that they are all great grandmothers!
While adjusting to life as a widow, Daphne Blankenship decided to bring her love of dancing and keeping active to others. Now as choreographer, instructor and although she won’t say it, director, her Fruita Troupers are going strong.
“They are the workers," Blankenship said. "I just put it all together and bring in the music for them.”
Ten years ago, she went through a major life change. After deep thought and some time had passed, an idea came to her.
“There would be no more partying and smoking and all that," Blankenship reflected. "I was going to live a good lifestyle and teach others to dance.”
Their performances bring good times to many and a gold medal for them!
"The team won... a gold medal at the Senior Games for line dance.”
A vacation led Easterner Joyce Gillooly and her husband to the valley to work and raise a family.
“The wonderful weather, the low humidity, the beautiful scenery. Colorado was very inviting," Gillooly said. "I did not know a thing about line dancing when I first started. I wanted to learn how. I had seen other people do it and it looked very inviting so I wanted to learn.”
What about those costumes ?
“Daphne designed our costumes," said Gillooly. "She is our designer as well as our choreographer.”
“Put on a little bling and they’ll think you’re beautiful,” said Blankenship.
One of the original troupers, Peggy Burris, after careers with IBM and foster parenting, put on her dancing shoes for the Troupers. So, after 8 years, how much longer will she be a trouper?
“Oh man, until I can’t move,” Burris said, with the others laughing. “The only thing that keeps me moving is this.”
Baby of the group, Billie Black would rather speak through dancing but she agrees with the others as they share what they get out of the whole experience.
“I just think that it involves the mind as well as the body. And with the aging process happening, I feel like I need to be on top of it as much as I can be,” Burris said.
“You have to think when you’re doing this. Every time they think they have it, I change it around a bit,” laughed Blankenship.
“You just have to get up and do it," Gillooly continued. "You just have to make the move. Get off your butt!”
Interested in becoming a Trouper? It’s easy.
“All they have to do is give me a call (at 243-5678) and I will do beginners," said Blankenship. "These ladies are not actually beginners, but I love working with the beginners.”
You can also contact the Fruita Rec Center.