This year, the boys of summer have a little competition for the spotlight.
Meet the Touchmark Larkettes.
“I didn’t quite know what I was getting into, but I said yes because I like to dance,” says Betty Heinrich, one of the Larkettes.
“When we go to the games, everybody praises us, so what’s not to like?” says Gertie Mettler with a laugh.
Heinrich and Mettler, along with Eunice Balzer, Ann Dammel, and Debbie March (and occasionally her grandson Gavin), practice twice a week at the health club at Touchmark on West Century, learning steps put together by Northern Plains Dance.
Heinrich says it’s a great challenge. “We just have to get our head wrapped around them, I guess — and try to follow our leader. They’re good teachers. They’re terrific.”
“They have done an amazing job,” says Zachary Leighton, an instructor with Northern Plains Dance. “They have multiple themes and multiple dances that they’ve had to learn, and so we’ve kind of been stacking them in their minds.”
And then comes the fun part for Gertie Mettler and the gang: showing off their moves in front of the Larks home crowd.”That positive atmosphere just gives you a lift!” Mettler says.
“The reception has been terrific — I don’t know if they’re feeling sorry for us, or…” Heinrich laughs.
That’s definitely not the case. Instructor Zachary Leighton says what the Larkettes are doing takes guts. “Even if you’re a professional, to put yourself out there in front of that audience, so for them to get out there and do that, and have the amount of fun they’re having, is just awesome.”
But it’s more than that. It’s evidence that you’re never too old to live life to the fullest. Just ask 90-year-old Gertie Mettler.
“Live the day that the Lord gives you,” Mettler says. “Don’t think about the past or the future. Live the time you have right now. And be kind to people.”
The Larkettes perform at nearly every Larks home game.
You can see them again Friday, July 5th, and again on Sunday, July 7th at Municipal Ballpark. We’re told Sunday’s performance involves sunglasses and Hawaiian leis!