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May 17, 2011 > The Golden Follies

The Golden Follies

By Emma Victoria G. Blanco

For modern-day seniors, maintaining an active lifestyle doesn't just mean chair exercises at home or taking the dog for a walk. In fact, it would seem that the sky is the limit for the older generation; they are breaking the mold and embracing alternate forms of exercise such as yoga, hiking, biking... and dancing.

That's where sisters Susan Bostwick and Diane Tembey-Stawicki come in. Bay Area natives, born and raised in Oakland, they have traveled extensively, dancing and performing as an opening act for celebrities such as Wayne Newton, Goldie Hawn, and the Pointer Sisters. Back in the Bay Area, they are now helping others through Dublin's Dance Network. They have created a unique act to showcase the talents of senior women (and a few men) who are proof that dancing is fun and keeps aging at bay.

The Golden Follies is a long-running, high-energy Las Vegas style extravaganza featuring senior performers. Bostwick and Tembey-Stawicki co-direct and choreograph a group of women (and three gentlemen) ranging in age from 60 to 86. The theme for this year's show will highlight famous cities, including New York, Las Vegas, Kansas City and Hollywood! The grand finale will feature a sparkling tribute to the USA, with flag-waving and tapping to memorable tunes of the '40s.

Dancers in the show are passionate about their performances. Some, like Rosalie Reid, drive from as far away as Granite Bay every week. She says, "It keeps me young at heart. The Golden Follies has become a special part of my life; everyone supports each other through so many of life's experiences." San Leandro resident, 67 year old Sandy Eggers, is the newest member of the Follies. "I am very excited to be a part of this wonderful group! The directors and the women who make up the 'Follies Girls' have been extremely welcoming and gracious to me. We dance side by side, whether we are 60, 70 or 80, and support one another like family. Dancing keeps us young, vital, happy and energetic, and we are so happy to share our joy of dance with our audiences!"

The golden girls are talented artists who can effortlessly execute stylish choreography and "set the stage on fire with their fast-tapping feet in gorgeous and colorful costumes." They have been rehearsing for the show since January and every one of them has attended the weekly rehearsals in Dublin and/or Hayward. An inspiration to their families and friends, their enthusiasm for dancing is a testament to an unwavering commitment to the sisters' tutelage. Kate Belbeck may have summed it up best, "Every time I dance I'm so happy! Each week I look forward to our rehearsals. I have to drive almost 2 hours but it so well worth it. My instructors are the best and they keep me feeling young. In this harsh economy, I enjoy bringing a smile to people everywhere, including my own eight children and ten grandchildren. I want to be a Golden Follies Girl forever!"

Incorporated in The Golden Follies' spectacular show will be specialty acts including the Mount Eden Marching Band, the Dance Divas, and House Blend (a group of four gentlemen a cappella singers).

Get ready for some rousing entertainment as "The Golden Follies" performs at Chabot College on Sunday, May 22.

Past performances have been sold out, so make sure you don't miss out on a delightful, entertaining afternoon with The Golden Follies. General admission is $25 and must be purchased via cash or checks (made payable to The Golden Follies). For more information, call (925) 803-9020 or (510) 785-8097, or send an email to thegoldenfollies@yahoo.com.

The Golden Follies
Sunday, May 22
2 p.m.
Chabot College
Performing Arts Center
25555 Hesperian Blvd., Hayward
(925) 803-9020 or (510) 785-8097
thegoldenfollies@yahoo.com
Tickets: $25

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