With age comes Wizdom
April 7, 2019 4:39 PM Subscribe
They are likely the only NBA dance team "presented by AARP" (tweet with short video clip), but that's because the Wizdom members are all over 50 (NPR). The Road to Wizdom (YT playlist) was tough, taking more than 50 applicants and narrowing it down to 19 women and one man, who range in age from 50 to 76.
More from NPR:
More from NPR:
With contagious enthusiasm, team members are almost always dancing: in the locker room, walking to practice, lining up to perform.And more from CBS News:
"They're very well-rehearsed, perform with a lot of energy, charisma, style, and are just entertaining to watch," says the team's choreographer, Derric Whitfield. "The audience can get behind them because they are so good. It's not just, 'Oh that was cute,' it's 'Wow they really can dance.'"
The group's last performance is on April 9. They'll all have to tryout again next year if they want to rejoin the team.
But members of the Wizdom say that won't keep them apart. They've already planned cookouts and pool parties for the off-season. As "Nana" puts it, the team has become a family.
The Wizdom take the court one game a month at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., with 19 women and one guy. "I'm a huge, huge dance fan," said Christopher Johnson. "I've been dancing, my parents would tell you, comin' outta the crib."[Includes an embedded video]
But, at 53, Johnson said this is his first time dancing in front of an audience. "It's a dream," he said.
The team's been a dream for so many members, but they do jump through some hoops to get there. First, intense tryouts; then, weekly workouts.
Lulu Hester-Alexander was inspired to try out by her granddaughter, Jasmine, a Wizards dancer, who said of her grandmother, "Sometimes, the dance moves that they do, I'm like, 'Oh my God, why did I have her do this?' But I am her number-one fan."
And often, it's the Wizdom who connect with the fans in the stands. "I think because we're more like them," said Cizmar. "They see themselves. It's like, 'If you can do it, then I can do it.' I look out for people who are kind of looking and dancing with me, and I throw a little face their way."
This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments