“Starting in January 1997, I started my first class, and I had five members that came,” said Ann. Today, Ann has seven dance classes, and from those classes, she has the “Rockyettes,” a dance troupe of young-at-heart women. The Rockyette’s perform for nursing homes, senior citizen complexes, and veteran’s hospitals. They tap and dance to Broadway show tunes and hits from the 40’s and 50’s.
“We are what Ann has created…that’s a group of women who didn’t get to do it when they were kids, so we get to do it now,” said Rockyette, Sarah Bowman.
Ann is their fearless and exuberant leader. “I’m the director, choreographer, seamstress, costume designer. Ann laughs, “I guess I wear a lot of hats.”
For every number the Rockyettes dance, they wear a different costume to complement the song. Ann makes nearly all of them. A typical performance involves at least a dozen costumes, and that means a dozen costume changes! Ann’s home sewing room has three sewing machines that get lots of use. Her basement is packed with costumes. There are shimmering hats for “Singing in the Rain” and tops and colorful skirts for everything from holiday to Elvis songs.
“I don’t know any Broadway director that could do everything she does,” said Rockyette, Maridale Powell.
Ann is the ultimate 9Who Care winner. She volunteers her time, AND she recruits others to do the same. “A dance class is one thing, but to take it out to the nursing homes, V.A. hospitals, it’s just so rewarding,” Powell said.
Ann was nominated for the 9Who Care award by the entire cast of the Rockyettes. Each member adores her. “Even when we get a wrong step, she’s still smiling. We’re not, but she is,” said Powell.
“It’s my hobby. This is my volunteer work that I do, and I love doing it,” Ann said.
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