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What's Up Magazine

South County Showstoppers

Nov 08, 2011 09:39PM ● By Anonymous
But for one lively group of seniors, performing is what keeps them young at heart.

The South County Showstoppers are a group of more than 40 seniors who display their talents through performances held at the South County Senior Center and various other venues. Ranging in age from 60 to 90, the Showstoppers put on quite an entertaining show.

“We have several groups within the Showstoppers, from the group Harmony Grits that sing songs such as ‘When The Saints Go Marching In,’ dressed in choir robes, to the Silver Liners, which are a group of country line dancers,” says Director Joanne DeWilde. “We also have our South County Showstompers, who are a group of tap dancers, and we also have individual talents such as singers and comedians.”

For more than four years, the Showstoppers have performed at least twice a month at nursing homes, assisted living facilities, elk clubs, and senior centers. Beginning in 2007, the Showstoppers started under the direction of Vicki Smith. After two years, Vicki stepped down and Joanne DeWilde stepped up. Under her direction, the Showstoppers have gained county and statewide recognition and have become a Maryland treasure. Awarded with the Governor’s Leadership in Aging Performing Arts Award in May 2011, the Showstoppers’ performances have given them a chance to express their talents while entertaining others.

“We have two main audiences that touch us the most; that being assisted livings and nursing homes. We held a show at Somerford Assisted Living & Alzheimer’s Care, and it touched us so much because we had people dancing and singing along with us,” says DeWilde.

Though the Showstoppers began solely out of Anne Arundel County, they now have stretched to over six counties and are looking to expand statewide. Shows are free to attend, but donations are always accepted. With laughter, smiles, good music and performances, a Showstoppers show is an event that will delight the hearts of the young and old.

“It makes it all worthwhile when you can see someone’s eyes light up,” DeWilde says, “All we want is to put a smile on someone’s face.”

For more information on upcoming shows, or booking information for the South County Showstoppers, please visit activeSeniors/soco.cfm.