In the far west valley, a spirit squad is hard at work going through the steps of one of their hit dance routines set to the song “We Got the Beat” by the Go-Go’s.
These aren’t just any dancers, these are the Sun City Poms, a team of spunky senior ladies who take practicing and performing their routines really darn seriously, and they’re very good. Dancers must be 55 years or older to join and practice for two and a half hours twice a week.
“The Sun City Poms started as a cheerleading squad for the Sun City Saints, a women’s softball team here in Sun City,” said Greta Paulsen, Director of the Sun City Poms.
After that, the poms evolved into two groups: a Marching Group for parades, and a Performance Group. The Performance Group stars in 50 shows each year, ranging from performing at assisted care facilities to fundraisers, and any place that needs a bit of shine.
“You know it’s an amazing group of women that I’ve met here, made friends, learned about their history, where they’ve come from. I’ve finally found my niche here in Sun City,” said Geri Braddock, who just recently joined the Sun City Poms.
The Sun City Poms even perform acrobatic stunts, including a three-person pyramid.
“Kids go wild thinking of someone the age of their grandmas and great grandma’s doing those kinds of stunts,” said Paulsen.
For some of the poms, dancing is a way to stay healthy.
“I was diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis in my 20s and they told me I would be crippled by the time I was in my 40s,” said Gloria Tolla, a member of the Sun City Poms. “Dancing was the number one thing they recommended.”
Gloria has been dancing her entire life but is currently on the sidelines after undergoing surgery on her foot. She’s only two weeks away from rejoining the squad. Gloria says she can’t wait to get back on the dance floor.