90 Years Young

Dancers Rosemary Collins and Lori Wohlers were honored with a 90th Birthday Celebration on August 15th.

Rosemary Collins and Lori Wohlers were honored with a 90th birthday celebration on Monday, Aug. 15 in the Main Clubhouse Restaurant.

Rosemary turned 90 on July 27 and Lori will celebrate her 90th birthday on Sept. 16.

Florence Morck and Peggy Frederick organized the celebration that was attended by many members of the Stardust Dancers, Classy Tappers, Tip-Top Tappers, and Makua Hula Hawaiian Dancers as well as members of the International Dancers. Tap dance teacher, Jean Svarvar, and Evelyn Hawkins, director of the Stardust Dancers, were also in attendance for the celebration. Florence Morck welcomed everyone to the party and the group sang “Happy Birthday” to these amazing ladies. Neither Rosemary or Lori look their age, and it just proves that staying active, especially by dancing, will keep you vital long into your retirement years.

After a buffet luncheon, Florence and Peggy told the assembled group how Rosemary and Lori began dancing and the interesting lives they’ve lived during their 90 years.

Rosie began dancing at age 9 performing in tap, acrobatic, and Pointe ballet in Bronx. Lessons at the time were 50 cents! Later her family moved to Staten Island and Rosie took a bus and a train to get to the dance lessons she loved. She continued to dance into her mid-teens and choreographed a number for herself and a friend who tapped on roller skates at a gig in Harlem which was an entertainment center at the time.

She met her husband, Jim, at age 14. They became friends and she wrote to him later when he was in the Navy. When he was home on leave, both Rosie and Jim realized their friendship had turned into love. Rosie broke off her engagement to another man and married Jim at age 21.

After raising a family and retiring, Rosie and Jim moved to Sun Lakes where Rosie renewed her love of dance. She joined the Mukua Hula Hawaiian Dancers and the tap class which she still dances with today. Rosie was also a member of the Rhythm Sisters, a popular Sun Lakes song and dance group.

Lori Wohlers began dancing at age 5 performing in tap, toe tap, acrobatic, and toe tapping on roller skates. Lori and her family lived in Massachusetts and her mother wanted her to be a dancer. Lori was such a talented dancer she was asked to move to California to be a stand-in for Shirley Temple, however, the family decided not to make the cross-country move and later moved to Boston. She continued to dance until she was 17 and was married at 18.

Later in life, Lori met her husband, Walt, at Sun Lakes. She became a member of the Sun Lakes tap dance class and the Stardust Dancers. Lori was also a member of the Rhythm Sisters and gained notoriety playing “Shirley Temple” in the Sun Lakes Follies.

Lori continues to dance with the Classy Tappers and the Stardust dancers even after two knee replacements.

After hearing about their lives, both Rosemary and Lori were inducted into the “Incredible Dancers Hall of Fame.” They were presented with medals made especially for them that was inscribed with the words Star Dancer, their names and 90th birthday.

Before the afternoon celebration ended everyone enjoyed delicious cupcakes baked by Bob Golchert that were decorated with edible dance shoes and stars.

It was a very enjoyable afternoon celebrating the lives of two special ladies who love to dance and are still dancing at 90 years young!


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