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Cobb County senior citizens get “Footloose” in video

Pat Osterfeld and and others in the Lost Mountain Room, ready for their video shoot. HANDOUT.

It’s a good thing Sue Walker saved her baton from high school

It came in handy recently when the 69-year-old joined others from the West Cobb County Senior Center on Dallas Highway to make a video in which they danced, kicked and twirled while lip-syncing to “Footloose.”

Most recall the  dance scene made famous by a very nimble Kevin Bacon in the 1984 film by the same name.

“There’s a negative stereotype about senior citizens,” Johnny Barfield, program coordinator for the multi-purpose center. “We wanted to show that seniors are active and vibrant and fun.”

The video is already picking up steam. It has more than 3,700 likes on YouTube and was even shared by television personality, journalist and elderly advocate Joan Lunden, on her Facebook page with a message to “Never stop having fun!”

Watch the West Cobb version  here.

These seasoned “golden-agers” - 125 of them - held two practice sessions before the video was shot in October .

Making a video had been on Barfield’s radar for a while. It wasn’t until he got to the West Cobb center two years ago, though, that he finally had a staff “crazy enough to do it and seniors who were active enough. They put their own personalities in it and that was the fun part.”

Watch dance scene from original "Footloose"

What’s a video release, however,  without a red carpet?

Seniors put on their finest and walked the carpet before the premiere.

The video has been playing regularly on a large television in the lobby.s

“Now the question is, how do I get it out of my head,” Barfield said, laughing.

Others may soon follow suit.  Jessica Gill, executive director of Cobb Senior Services,  has been contacted by others  who are interested in collaborating on a new video.

Walker, a retired teacher, was a little worn out after five takes but discovered that twirling a baton, like riding a bicycle, is something you never forget.

“Arthritis kind of makes it difficult but I can’t believe I could still twirl at this age.”

Gregory Masterson, 63, a retired general maintenance man for a bank, was the high kicker in the video.

He thinks taking tai chi lessons at the center, which is for seniors age 55 and up, helped him make those high kicks.

His family posted the video on social media.

“Everyone loved it,” he said.

Mary Lou Warden, 83, a retired nurse from Powder Springs, for instance, is basking in her 15 minutes of fame.

She told someone she was going to be late to a class because she was being interviewed by “the paparazzi.”

“It was like having a party,” she said of the shoot. ” It’s gone viral, you know.”

Although she has a Facebook account, she hasn’t posted the video -  yet.

Now the seniors at the center and the staff can’t wait to try their dance skills again. They’re already thinking about the next video.

Oh, and about that original “Footloose” dancer?

Bacon turns 58 this year, which means he's  eligible to be in the next senior video at West Cobb.


Vince and Barbara Dooley to discuss aging well at Cobb event April 30

More seniors aging alone

Georgia wins battle for "Footloose"


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About the Author

Shelia Poole has worked at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for more than two decades.