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Performers have
‘Senior Moments’ at PAC


By Melissa Robinson
Contributing Editor 

  Forget New York, London and even Las Vegas, because right here in Henry County is Paris. No not the Eiffel Tower and the finest of wines, but rather the Paris School of Performing Arts, featuring the Paris Performers.

  The Paris Performers are an inspired group of experienced dancers ranging in age from 55 to 81 who lit up the stage this past Sunday at the Henry County Performing Arts Center in a show called Senior Moments, produced by GC Productions. The show also showcased performances by the Second Act Performing Company and the Upstage Dance Center, featuring both the Elite One Tappers and the Adult Tappers.

Dancers Alma Pointzes, Nan Johnson, Karlene Hollender, Ken Nears, Lonnie Keeler, Yvette Smalls and Mary Anne Maslanka get ready for their first number, “Quarter to Nine,” in the show “Senior Moments,” held at the Performing Arts Center on Sunday.                                        Photo by Melissa Robinson

  All of the performers entertained an appreciative audience with original numbers from Broadway musicals, where they tapped, shuffle-stepped and twirled their way across the stage to such songs as “Cabaret” and “Anything Goes.” They also danced to patriotic numbers such as “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and a special salute to all branches of the armed services, along plenty of golden oldies. Vocalists Gary Casten, and Lydia and John Carpenter performed several popular songs, and even “Elvis” made a special appearance.

  The Paris Performers are made up of 24 dancers, many of whom have professional training and dance experience. They have performed at various venues, including the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, the Morocco Casino and Resort in California and the Georgia Mountain Fair. They also perform at various charity functions, lending their time and talent to help others.

  Their motto is “we’re great at what we do, we just can’t remember what it is,”-- a running joke with the seasoned troupe of dancers.

  Mary Anne Maslanka, one of the Paris Performers, said she has been tap dancing since she was 52 and now at 68, she said she wished she had started earlier. Although she has been singing and dancing her whole life, she finds great satisfaction in performing as part of this particular ensemble.

  “Performing is good for my soul,” she said. “But I still get butterflies.”

  Cherilynn Paris, the ensemble’s founder has been performing since she was a child. She founded the Paris Dancers in 2010 and later formed the Second Act Performing Company. As a teenager, she was crowned Miss Teenage Georgia in 1961 and 50 years later was crowned Miss Georgia Senior America.

  Dancing runs in Paris’ family, as her mother was a dancer who performed with the U.S.O. during World War II, and Paris travelled with the U.S.O. during the Vietnam War. Her daughter is also a dancer and runs a successful dance school in Florida.

  She said the Paris Performers are a dedicated group of dancers who put on a high energy, interactive show.

  “It’s a lot of fun for everybody, and they really engage the audience to have fun as well,” she said. “Our dancers are from all walks of life and are very talented.”

  She said the dancers keep busy throughout the year, performing nearly whenever requested, and next month they a scheduled to perform in Helen, Georgia, and hopes the show at the PAC will become an annual event.



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