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Dance team made up of seniors perform at Gophers halftime show

Seniors show off dance skills at sold-out basketball game
Seniors show off dance skills at sold-out basketball game 03:44

MINNEAPOLIS — At the Pillars of Prospect Park, a senior facility that offers independent living, assisted living and memory care, a dance class became so popular among residents that they took it to a different level.

"It's just fun to be with people that laugh a lot and so we do. And if we make any mistakes... Nobody will care," Brenda Hoffman said.

Loren Sass had to leave his comfort zone to participate and that's the point.

"I am not a sports fan. In fact, this is sort of an incomprehensible activity. My children are quite amazed I'm doing this," Sass said.

When WCCO visited, the team from Pillars of Prospect Park was preparing to dance at halftime of the Gopher-Iowa sold-out women's basketball game.

They have experience and they combine it with the youth — members of the Gopher's current dance team are there to help, teach, participate and get an education.

"I hope they have as much fun as we do because, for us, it's like one of my favorite practices, especially in the spring semester. Just to be able to spend time with them," Kianne Vouavichith said.

On Tuesday night, all that preparation took center stage for a sold-out Williams Arena.


"A lot of people refer to it as the Iowa game, it's really the Pillars senior cheer squad game," Fred Jacobs said.

Many are Gopher alums, but this is a first.

"I went to the university as a student and I never imagined that I would be out on the floor of Williams Arena," Lilly Olson said.

Call it a Gopher victory, but the real win is the time spent together and that they have something to look forward to as they enter the late stages of life.

And the real win is the time spent together.

"You get to know people, and it's just been great. It's just really fun," Carol Lerdahl said.

The halftime show is just the beginning. Many of these athletes are already enrolled in a new course — learning how to box.

"When we're walking down University Avenue, no one dares fool with us," Olson said.

The team is set to make another appearance at the Gopher men's game against Penn State on Saturday.

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