The women in the Oakdale Rockettes aren't as spry as they used to be, and some have more than a few aches and pains.
But that doesn't stop them from kicking up a storm.
The ladies will tap dance to "Ballin' the Jack," "Anchors Aweigh" and "Soft Shoes" at the Stanislaus Arts Council's Senior Spotlight show at the State Theatre in Modesto next weekend.
The group is among a dozen elder acts that will perform in the 90-minute show. There also will be country-western and barbershop performers, pianists, singers and a harmonica player.
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All are between the ages of 55 to nearly 90.
Chuck Gillespie, a former Modesto resident who used to be involved in community theater, is flying from his home in Columbus, Ohio, to serve as emcee of the show.
"Seniors need to showcase their talent," said Grace Lieberman, the 79-year-old arts council director. "The general public needs to be aware that seniors still have a lot to offer."
Lieberman said the senior performers serve as an inspiration to others. All of them were auditioned in advance.
"I don't want it to be a 'Gong Show,' " she said.
Lieberman discovered the Oakdale Rockettes through 83-year-old founder June Handley. As a child, Handley spent hours watching Shirley Temple dance on the big screen and always thought it would be great to do the same thing. So she started the tap group three years ago.
She wasn't sure if there would be enough interest, but people joined the group immediately.
"Every week, we held our breath and worried it would fizzle, but it didn't and they kept coming," she said.
Today about a dozen women perform in the group, rehearsing twice a week in the Oakdale Senior Center.
"We come to have fun," said tapper Doris Scanlon, 77. "It's a great challenge for your brain and body. It's certainly teamwork."
Viola Talbert, also 77, was motivated to join because she wanted to keep active. She first got hooked on dancing when she took Bob Bradley's country line dancing class in San Ramon and it helped her overcome depression. She said tap dancing also elevates her mood.
She and the other group members learned to tap from watching the Bonnie Franklin (TV's "One Day at a Time") videotape "I Hate to Exercise, I Love to Tap."
Peggy Welch, 66, eventually taught them some routines, including one that allows Handley to bring out her old batons.
Handley said it was a thrill to twirl them again for the first time since she was a drum major in high school in Portland, Maine.
"It all came right back to me," Handley said.