Dallas Tap Dazzlers bring pep in the step to the stage of life



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Posted on February 21, 2014 at 11:38 PM

DALLAS -- Whoever said "Dance like nobody’s watching" never met the ladies of the Dallas Tap Dazzlers, for whom all the world's a stage.

They play in a blur of sparkle, hairspray, and photo shoots, with personality oozing out of every pore. It's all part of their love for the often lost art of tap dancing.

Frances Dempsey founded the group in 1990. Her first order of business was finding the perfect name.

"I said, 'I want Dallas in it. I want tap in it, because then they’ll know what we do. Then, you’ve got to have pizzazz, so it’s the Dallas Tap Dazzlers.' I loved it!" Dempsey said.

She hadn't tapped a day in her life, and now you can’t get her (or the 19 other women who live to entertain she’s assembled) to stop.

"Well, we say, 'If you’re 45 or over, come and try out.' We don’t care how much over!" Dempsey said.

Spend an afternoon with these ladies and you start to realize they’ve got a leg up on life.

Doris Simons and her gorgeous gams are proof.

"I had one life when I didn’t do things like this. Then, I started my second life, which is much more exciting," Simons said.

"In my time, all the movies were tap dancers, all the dancers were. So I always wanted to," Simons said.

Five decades later, the most senior Dazzler is holding her own on stage at 87.

"I just... Do things!" she said. And that’s the secret.

Christina Fuller just turned 50.

"I am the baby of the group, so when I grow up, why not be just like them?" she said.

Fuller’s in the wellness field, and can’t think of a better way to spend the next half of her life than shuffling off to Buffalo.

"There’s a lot of memory function that goes with being a Dazzler, in remembering the routines, getting switched around, we have different formations," she said. "For me, the most important thing is trying to stay healthy and keep active."

They dazzle crowds with 60 performances per year and enough cheeky outfits to make you blush. There is no doubt dancing keeps them fit and sharp, just like their sense of humor.

Take that comedy, camaraderie, and a shuffle ball change, and you’ve got the Dazzler’s key to life. Do what you love, and the show will go on as late in life as you like.

E-mail msaavedra@wfaa.com