The Wizdom ,dance squad for the Washington Wizards NBA franchise, is not your typical dance squad – members range in age from 50 to 76 years young and include former NFL cheerleaders, a dentist, several grandmothers and a breast cancer survivor. The Wizdom is sponsored by the AARP – to join, members go through a rigorous audition process; once accepted to the squad, members learn seven routines to perform throughout the season. As to why members auditioned the reasons varied – some were cheerleaders and wanted to perform again, some were looking for ways to get more exercise while others were talked into it by their grandchildren. Once part of the squad, members found community. For the complete story, follow our link to NPR.org.
These NBA Dancers Spin, Shimmy And Twerk. And They’re All 50 Or Older
By Samantha Balaban & Lindsey Feingold | NPR.org
During a recent break in the action, a dance squad stormed the court for the Washington Wizards. Donning bright red, white and sparkly blue outfits, they spun, they shimmied, they even did some light twerking. They looked like any dance team a fan might expect to see at an NBA game, except for one difference: They were all over the age of 50.
The “Wizdom” dance team, as the squad is called, first took the court for the Wizards in November and has performed at several home games since. The 19 women and one man who make up the squad range in age from 50 to 76, and they include former NFL cheerleaders, a dentist, several grandmothers and a breast cancer survivor.
“We are part of what I like to call the ‘Fame,’ ‘Flashdance’ and ‘Let’s Get Physical’ generation,” says Wizdom dancer Cindy Hardeman, 60. “We’re just taking it into our elder years,” she says, later adding, “If we were to top it in order of why we do it, I’d say fun, fun and fun.”
With contagious enthusiasm, team members are almost always dancing: in the locker room, walking to practice, lining up to perform.
“They’re very well-rehearsed, perform with a lot of energy, charisma, style, and are just entertaining to watch,” says the team’s choreographer, Derric Whitfield. “The audience can get behind them because they are so good. It’s not just, ‘Oh that was cute.’ It’s ‘Wow they really can dance.'” Read More