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Frisky Older Dancers Are Good Sports


A U.S. professional men's basketball game is a noisy affair. Especially with all its revved-up atmospherics, designed to energize the prized young adults in the audience. There are explosions and fireworks as the team takes the court. The announcer goes wild each time a home player scores. "Rodney Ray" becomes "Rod-nee RAAAAAAAAYYY!!"

There's lots of loud music, ramped up triple-fortissimo. And gyrating to it all is a team of curvaceous young women in glittering, revealing outfits.

The New Jersey Nets pro team, for instance, employs such a dance troupe. But they're not the only ones who put a groove on. Ten times already this season -- to the same, raucous music -- out have come, not the sexy young women but . . . the "NETsational Seniors!" -- 12 women, ages 59 through 83 -- and one man, a rascally 62-year-old named Joe Bianco. They kick, they slink, they bump and grind, they slap hands to wild cheers and tears of enjoyment from the crowd.

Some of the NETsational Seniors say they do it for the exercise. Others, to prove that old folks can be vital. Joe Bianco does it because someone dared him to. Jeri Kadison told the USA Today newspaper the only time she had danced was at her daughter's wedding, but, as she put it, "I decided I was going to come out of my shell."

All told, seven pro basketball teams now have senior dance troupes who can really shake-'em down!

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