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At the Golden State Warriors home games, older dancers steal the show


All right, picture this. It's halftime at the Golden State Warriors arena. Steph Curry and his teammates are in the locker room getting ready for the second half. And a crew of sashaying, strutting, seasoned dancers known as the Hardwood Classics takes the floor, wearing the team's blue and yellow. They are ages 55 to 77.



JAN: We see 20,000 fans, and sometimes they'll even stand up in front of us and start dancing, too. You know, it's just electric, and we're so, so lucky.


That's Jan. And we're only using first names because the Warriors asked us to to preserve the dancer's privacy. She is the veteran of the group, and she turns 78 in August. She's been with the group from the beginning.

JAN: The very first time we went out, we didn't know how we would be received. And some of us, me included, came off with tears in our eyes. It was just such an emotional, wonderful experience.

INSKEEP: Another dancer named Jenn is a season ticket holder with the Warriors and has a day job in health care. She saw the Hardwoods and tried out as soon as she got old enough. At 55, it was her first ever audition.

JENN: I have to admit, I was a little terrified in the beginning. Like, how did I get here? How am I getting to do this? But now that I'm doing it, I can't imagine not doing it. And we all love each other so much.

MARTIN: Jan, on the other hand, started dancing professionally as a teenager 63 years ago. She's done "Chorus Line," TV, traveled Europe. She was a contortionist and still does the splits, you know, just to limber up.

JAN: Absolutely. At a moment's notice wherever I go (laughter).

INSKEEP: And she's grateful for her community of dancers.

JAN: At this stage of your life, usually you're rather sedate, and you're not, you know, making new friends and things like that. This is just the complete opposite.

INSKEEP: High school students get excited when they're hanging with the seniors. This group of seniors gives that phrase a whole new meaning.


MC HAMMER: Break it down. Break it down.

RICK JAMES: (Singing) She's a super freak, super freak. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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