TRINITY — When Pat Griebel’s husband decided to retire to Florida 21 years ago to enjoy its numerous golf courses, she wasn’t quite ready to hang up her dancing shoes.
It wasn’t long before women in her new community in Pasco County found out that was Griebel was professional dinner theater dancer and invited her to perform in local shows in Milwaukee and Chicago.
Soon after that, they begged her to teach them to dance.
“One class turned into two, two classes turned into four, and it just went on from there,” Griebel said.
Now, Griebel is getting ready to present her 2014 Silver Follies Revue, a performance by a group of fun-loving, silver-haired vixens with an average age of 74.
The oldest member is 81.
For its 19th year the show will feature 23 tap dancers and singers performing “A Salute to Broadway Musicals” and several numbers, including “Hooked on Swing” and “All That Jazz.” One number involves both grandmothers and grandchildren dancing together to “Come Up and See Me Sometime.”
Each performance includes dancing, singing and colorful outfits bedazzled with sequins, feathers, glitter and more, depending on the feel of the songs performed. Many of them are handmade by Griebel herself.
In the beginning, few of the dancers had experience and nobody had a lot of money to put toward costumes. Griebel, whose costumes from her former life came from big costume supply houses, set about making them.
As more women joined and gained experience, and as they desired fancier costumes “with feathers and sequins to cover things up as we got older,” Griebel said, they began ordering some of their outfits from New York and Philadelphia.
“When the show is over and it’s time to start planning for next year, the first question they will ask is, ‘What are we going to wear for this dance?’” Griebel said. “They love to be dressed up. It makes them feel young. We are working together and each other young.”
When the Silver Follies members aren’t rehearsing, they’re performing at VFW meetings, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and more. The ladies are from four different West Pasco communities and practice at least weekly at their own community’s clubhouse before coming together as a larger group to perform.
This year’s show will start at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 1 at the Heritage Springs Golf and Country Club, 11345 Robert Trent Jones Blvd. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased over the phone at (727)372-5411. They will also be selling tickets at the door.
You can follow Daylina Miller on Twitter at @DaylinaMiller.