A troupe of grannies has tap-danced its way throughout Utah and into Idaho as sought-after performers at a variety of events.
But next on the docket is a special appearance at the Davis County Commission chambers to tell their side of a dispute with the disgruntled management of a local senior citizens center.Maxinetts Dancing Grannies, named after director Maxine Conk, began five years ago as an exercise class. The group of 21 women - ranging in age from 60 to 84 - has since used the recreation room at Bountiful's Golden Years Center, 726 S. 100 East, for 90 minute practices twice a week.
Some who use the center find the practices annoying. The management complains that the group's dancing and music are too loud for other guests and the metal taps are causing damage to expensive, donated wooden floors.
"They make a tremendous amount of noise. It's almost deafening at the front desk," said Lee Knight, a volunteer at the center. "There are a lot of things they could do to make things more pleasant."
Joyce Smith, executive director of the Davis County Council on Aging, which oversees the center, said until there's money for a portable floor, the women have to practice in regular shoes or not at all.
"We think it's wonderful exercise for them," Smith said. "But they don't represent the Golden Years Center. They represent themselves."
But Conk said she wonders if this sends a message that the center's floors are more important than the health of the women involved. She has been a dance instructor for years and said if the center would just clean and wax the floors, they'd be fine.
For now, the group has agreed to practice without taps. But Conk said it's only a matter of time before the management of the center comes up with something else to keep them from practicing there.
Tap dancer Darleen Randall said her bad knee has been helped tremendously by the dancing. Another woman in the group was hit by a car and told she would never walk again, but through tap dancing she was rehabilitated, Randall said. Furthermore, all of the women pay taxes and donate to the center, so they feel they shouldn't have to move to another building for practice, Conk said.
"They would rather we just sit and play cards. That way we'd be out of the way," Randall said.
The Maxinetts Dancing Grannies will meet with Commissioner Carol Page on Wednesday to discuss the group's concerns.