The Pacemakers prove dance has no age barriers

BySandy Kenyon and Toby Hershkowitz via Localish logo
Saturday, January 29, 2022
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Whoever said "youth is wasted on the young," never met the Pacemakers, the New York-based dance team of older adults.

NEW YORK -- Composed of dancers 60 years of age and older, the Pacemakers have been thrilling audiences with inspiring performances, viral music videos and electrifying dance moves.

With dances choreographed by the former captain of the New York Knicks dance team, the Pacemakers have been performing at community centers and ballparks.

Now, they're inviting men and women over the age of 60 to join them.

When the COVID pandemic hit, the Pacemakers didn't miss a beat. They simply moved their weekend rehearsals to Zoom and kept on dancing.

Their success is all the more remarkable because it was born out of adversity.

"We wear our ages, our year of our birth, on our jerseys for a reason," founder Susan Avery said. "So there's no shying away from how old we are. We shout it out from the rooftops."

Avery started the group after facing criticism as the oldest dancer for the Brooklyn Cyclones in 2017.

"I was being cyber bullied," she said. "People didn't want me on the team (and) said some really awful things."

The snarky comments online centered on her age.

"My daughter said to me, 'Why don't you start your own team?'" she said.