By Melissa Robinson
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
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
“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
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.