When you think of a major basketball team’s dancers or cheerleaders, you probably picture the Laker Girls—scantily clad, with shiny curls cascading down their backs. You definitely don’t picture a group of 15 40-years-old-and-up “seniors,” mean-mugging and ripping off breakaway pants. But the New York Liberty’s Timeless Torches do exactly that, and they routinely bring down the house during halftime at the WNBA games where they perform.
The Timeless Torches are in their 12th season (remember when Liz Lemon made a guest appearance?), and while their youngest member is only 40 years young, their eldest is 77. Their regimen and routines are no joke—members have to re-audition every year (60 tried out this year for 15 spots), and there are regular evening rehearsals.
Among their ranks are a math teacher, a bus operator, a tarot card reader (!) and a retired middle school teacher. But what I find most refreshing is their actual embodiment of that (overused) phrase, “Dance like no one’s watching.” That’s the wisdom they’ve gleaned over their years: It’s possible to actually stop caring what other people think.
“I feel like I’m a better dancer than I was when I was in my 20s,” says Sylvia Chappell, a recent addition to the squad. “We stop being so worried about what we look like and what people are gonna think.”