Meet the Pacemakers, a Senior Citizen Dance Squad

The group earned the highest leisure award at a 2022 Labor Day parade in New Jersey. Richard (center) grew to become an honorary Pacemaker as he led them alongside the route in his classic automobile!


Susan, a journalist turned instructor, was 57 when she joined the dance workforce for the Brooklyn Cyclones Minor League Baseball workforce, whose members have been largely 25 and youthful. She liked it, however the terrible age-related insults about her in a fan-run fan web page on Fb (not affiliated with the workforce) tainted an in any other case fantastic expertise. “On the finish of the season, I thanked the workforce and turned in my costume,” she says. “I figured my dancing days have been over.” That’s, till just a few months later, when her daughter requested her, “Why don’t you begin your personal dance workforce?” Susan determined to offer it a whirl. She positioned an audition callout for a senior residents’ dance workforce and recruited her pal Heather Van Arsdel, a former dance captain for the Knicks Metropolis Dancers, to assist coach, create routines, and produce the workforce to life. That first 12 months, 16 dancers got here collectively because the Pacemakers. (Enjoyable reality: One member does have a pacemaker!) As destiny would have it, their first efficiency, in July 2019, was at a Brooklyn Cyclones sport, and it ended with a standing ovation. “It was among the best moments of my life,” says Susan. Now 33 people ages 60 and older make up the workforce, and so they put on their start years proudly on their backs. Susan says, “I’m taking again the phrase ‘previous.’ Being previous is a badge of honor. Sure I’m previous. You wish to be me—you wish to be previous in the future. What’s the choice?”


Barbara is the workforce’s dance captain and resident break-dancer.

pacemakers dance team

The Pacemakers rehearse each Saturday year-round. “Critical rehearsals for frolicsome seniors,” says Susan. “We spend a variety of time laughing.”


Along with making the crowds go wild at minor league baseball video games and neighborhood festivals, the workforce carried out on the 2022 WNBA championship sport and the New York Metropolis premiere of the movie 80 for Brady.



Dancing into the longer term

“Our mission is to verify folks know that previous individuals are not invisible. We’re previous and we’re nonetheless right here, and we are able to deliver pleasure and laughter to a crowd,” says Susan , who hopes to start out Pacemakers groups—she trademarked the title!—in different states. Attain out to her to search out out how one can help this wonderful group.

Observe the Pacemakers Dance Crew on YouTube and take a look at their web site right here.

This story initially appeared within the August/September 2023 print problem. Click on right here to subscribe to Lady’s Day Journal.