NOT JUST `BOOTY SHAKING’

first_img“The children really relate to us. They love to see the older generation get up there and do their thing,” said Hawkins, who is now a massage therapist for children with cancer. Brenda Hunter, 55, said even though her dancing style might not land her any auditions for the latest Beyonce music video, she wouldn’t want it any other way. “Dancing today is not actually dancing – it’s just booty shaking,” said the Los Angeles accountant. Far from resembling skimpy cheerleader uniforms, the Ole Skool Crew’s outfits are long leggings and purple Sparks jerseys over yellow T-shirts. The women aren’t about to pretend to be anything they’re not. “We’ve put on the extra pounds that come with age and having children,” Hawkins said. “And that’s why we’re such great motivation to women in their 40s, 50s, even 60s. They see us and they see possibility. They say to themselves, `If they can do it, why can’t I?”‘ It’s not only the crowd that’s inspired. Some of the crew members, including Hawkins, are as well. At 280 pounds, Hawkins was clinically obese and had high blood pressure when she tried out for the dance troupe three years ago. Since then she has lost nearly 100 pounds. For Lopez-Fiamengo, who danced professionally for 20 years, the Ole Skool Crew is an opportunity to get back in front of an audience and do what she does best. “I get out there with my bad knees and bad back and I dance like there’s nothing wrong with me,” she said. “This has been amazing for me. I have my cake and I’m eating it too at the age of 48.” [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Getting down with moves that haven’t been hip for nearly two decades – such as the Roger Rabbit, Cabbage Patch, Running Man and, of course, the Electric Slide – the 10-lady crew has been performing at game breaks a few times a season since 2004. “It brings back such great memories,” said Lopez-Fiamengo, who teaches dance at the Peninsula School of Performing Arts in Palos Verdes Estates. “When we get out there, the crowd screams so loud I can barely hear the music. I remember the first time I got out there, I was like, `What hot babe is standing behind me?’ But it was just us.” The group was created by former Sparks owner Johnny Buss, son of Lakers owner Jerry Buss, who wanted to try something new that would reach a demographic that sometimes mainstream media forget. “We’re catering to the people in their 40s who remember dancing these moves to these tunes,” said Traci Hawkins, 44, who was once a dancer on “Soul Train,” the music television show started in 1970 by Don Cornelius. While their biggest fans are probably the women who put away their platform party shoes to raise children or go to work, the Ole Skool Crew gets a great reaction from the kids. By Megan Bagdonas STAFF WRITER You’re never too old to get out there and shake it, as one Rancho Palos Verdes woman will prove Sunday at the Staples Center. Dyan Lopez-Fiamengo, 48, will show off her funkadelic flair at the Sparks basketball game with the Ole Skool Crew, a professional dance troupe of women who are 40 to 63 years old. last_img

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