Photo Credit: @stayinalivecrew on Facebook
Over the past week, we’ve seen many dance studios and dance conventions offer online opportunities for students to keep dancing amid the Coronavirus quarantine, and now the Stayin Alive Crew is one of the latest dance organizations to offer ways for its members to stay moving. The Stayin Alive Crew is a 50 and over dance crew out of Atlanta with almost 40 members of varying dance abilities. While the main inspiration behind this group is to give its members an outlet to dance, the crew also has a passion for giving back to the Atlanta community.
If you are located in the Atlanta area, you may have seen the Stayin Alive Crew featured on shows such as Good Day Atlanta and Atlanta and Company, as well as in all major Atlanta parades, Susan G. Komen Atlanta events, and in performances at Six Flags over Georgia. In fact, this crew is even the reigning champion of Georgia’s Got Talent! Recently, I was able to speak with the founders of the Stayin Alive Crew to learn a little more about this nonprofit organization, its community involvement, and how its encouraging its members to keep moving during our nationwide quarantine.
DN: When did the Staying Alive Crew begin?
SAC: We are a relatively new crew, however, some of us have known each other from dancing in a prior group. The three founders (Janette, Josette, Margaret) had danced together before and decided in August 2018 that they wanted to form a group of their own with a mission of inspiring others and giving back to the community.
DN: What was the inspiration behind the Stayin Alive Crew?
SAC: Our inspiration was to first and foremost, find an outlet to dance while putting our time and talents to good use. Of course, we love to dance and perform, but we are in the chapter of our lives where we also want to give back to the community. It was critical for us to do this as an official non-profit, so a charter group of members was formed to create our mission/vision and we were officially incorporated in Georgia as a non-profit in June 2019.
DN: How many people are in the Stayin Alive Crew? Do any of the members have prior dance experience?
SAC: We have 38 members total between our two distinct groups within the crew. Initially, we started with the charter members as the ‘crew,’ who performed different routines throughout the year at various events/venues. Once we were ready to grow the group, we held auditions for the ‘mega crew,’ which includes dancers of all levels. We found that there were many people that wanted to be part of our group, but may not have the experience, time, or even the fitness level to keep up with the pace of our choreography. We expanded into parades because they were the perfect opportunity to really push ourselves to do something different than just dance performances. Parade choreography could be more simple and also repetitive, so those that wanted to participate, but needed some more time to learn and be comfortable with performing, now could have a place in our crew. We are, with these two groupings, able to attract both the experienced dancers as well as those with less dance experience. Some of our more experienced members have credentials such as: former NFL & NBA cheerleaders, professional dancers/ choreographers, college cheerleaders, cheerleader coaches, dance teachers, and certified fitness instructors.
DN: What are your future plans for the Stayin Alive Crew?
SAC: It is always our goal to continue to inspire others to keep moving, and to give back to our community. We work very hard to make ourselves known to organizations that we believe could leverage our ‘entertainment’ for their events. We’ve been able to volunteer for organizations like Susan G. Komen, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. We have also had the opportunity to perform for college basketball, minor league baseball and professional lacrosse games. Last year, we secured over 30 performances for our group. Now, in the next month or so, we are sending videos of new choreography for our members to learn and keep moving. We will also have some virtual practices!
DN: Why do you think it's important to show the world that everyone can dance?
SAC: I remember a conversation once with a group of young dancers that had watched us perform to popular music, executing dance moves that befit their generation, and their reaction was priceless. Sometimes, you worry if people will understand and appreciate our generation trying to keep up with new dances/music/trends, but instead this group of young people were touched that we respected and enjoyed their generation’s dancing. We are a group all over the age of 50, but we are also a group of thrivers and survivors! We have multiple cancer survivors, rheumatoid arthritis thrivers, a stroke survivor, and hip replacements in this group. We believe that you just need to keep moving, and if you find a tribe of like-minded people to experience life with, anything is possible.
Photo Credit: @stayinalivecrew on Facebook
DN: Any advice for people over the age of 50 who are scared to give dancing a try?
SAC: We stress this to our group, as well as those that are interested in auditioning: your energy and personality are more than half of the battle! In this age group, it is important to keep your energy levels up! A rewarding part of this journey has been to meet people with potential and watch their energy and confidence grow with practice and positive reinforcement! The biggest surprise to us after forming this group was that we found great joy in watching the positive impact that we have on the members of our group. We will always remain dedicated to our vision which is that we are a group of dancers inspiring a passion for life after age 50 while making a positive impact and proving age is limitless!
Follow Stayin Alive Crew at @stayinalivecrew on Facebook and Instagram.