The Golden Steppers have been dancing since the late 1990’s. Last week 10 of the original 13 members were still attending the rehearsals. One member, Mary Konst, was honored as she celebrated her 90th birthday.
She wasn’t the first Golden Stepper to be ‘steppin’ out” on her 90th birthday.
Leona Steffan also celebrated her 90th birthday with other members of the Golden Steppers.
Many years ago, Pat Meyer, Leipsic, formed a group called the Golden Steppers an “American Bandstand’ for the geriatric group. Meyer said the benefits are immeasurable. Meyer had started in ballet and tap at a very young age.
The 13-member class quickly grew to 50. Mary and Leona joined early.
The women meet weekly at the Ottawa K of C Hall to do a repertoire of fast and slow numbers. The group has performed at nursing homes, parades, the Putnam County Relay for Life, and even for a Red Ribbon event.
Although building of floats and marching in every small town parade in Ohio may be in the past, this group of ladies still enjoy giving a new twist to “Cotton-Eyed-Jo,” the tango, rumba, polka and jitterbug.
The women all agree they have a lot of fun as they gather to rehearse each week.
As one lady said “it also keeps the mind active remembering the steps.”
The other benefits are helping the participants with balance, coordination and fitness.
After Meyer stepped down as the instructor Jan Kreinbrink and Jeanne Botkins said yes to serving as the instructors.
Dancers pay $2 a week to practice with the Golden Steppers to help offset the cost of renting the hall weekly, with exception of July and August, when the meetings are suspended, upkeep of sound equipment and a small token for the instructors.
Golden Steppers enjoy learning new steps