By Jane Nambi
With age comes wisdom and for these cheerleaders, it is a testimony of that.
A cheer leading group that was started in 1979 in Sun City retirement community in Arizona is setting records. With 50 shows a year including on Fiesta Bowl, the group is incredibly successful. The group only has people aged 55 and above.
British photographer Todd Antony was amused by the flexibility of the ladies and their enthusiasm that he decided to document their work outs. “They were effervescent and fun,” Antony said, “While also being very professional about getting their poses correct.”
The Poms do pyramids, high kicks, pinwheels and other risky stunts. Shooting one training session, Antony said he was nervous when one woman got stuck three-quarters of the way into her split. “It seemed no one in the group was particularly concerned by this and looked on for some time as she got into a position where she could actually stand up again,” he recalls.
He went on to add saying, “Spending time with these ladies made me consider how Americans view the aging process; at one end of the spectrum are the child beauty pageants with children trying to fast-track their years whilst at the other end are these fabulous pom pom ladies who are successfully and gracefully holding back the years.”
The Poms were started for the Sun City Saints women’s softball team, and now consist of a marching unit and supporting unit along with the main performing unit.
Some of the requirements of the group are aged over 55, dance skills of rhythm, agility, poise, energy, and showmanship for performing’, while ‘acrobatics and baton twirling are a plus.