Nonprofit Profile

Step 'N' Sisters tap for fun, exercise

Carol Wagner, Leader Correspondent

Photo by Carol Wagner Some of the Step ‘N’ Sisters are shown before rehearsal: from left, front, Sue Raether, Gloria Sharp, Mary Jean Yde, Elaine Schuler and Kathy Akey; back, Ann Van Grinsven, Sally Piehl, Diane Edwards, Sally Schroepfer, Rosalee Roloff, and Joy Hillman. Absent are Charlotte Haas, Peggy Rindt, Marge Wichmann, Joan Huber and Ann Fuge.

For nearly 12 years, the Step ‘N’ Sisters have been entertaining audiences with their tap shoes and snappy routines.

Gloria Sharp started the group after she saw the Silver Foxes, a group of women from Appleton.

“I said I was going to do that when I retired,” Sharp said.

Over the years the members have changed, but the group keeps on tapping.

“We have a nucleus of about 12 who have stayed,” Sharp said. “When the girls from Shawano came we got flavor, a little spark.”

The women are from Caroline, Clintonville, New London and Shawano. Their ages are from 61 to 86. Some of the women attend just for the exercise and do not perform.

“It’s low aerobic exercise and good mental exercise,” Sharp said. “There about 20 dances that we do.”

Their first performance ever was at the Mielke Arts Center for a variety show. Since then they have performed as far away as Rhinelander, with many of their shows staged for nursing homes and meetings.

“The show depends on how long it is wanted,” Sharp said. “Everybody’s been very welcoming to us and even asked us back. They are very forgiving if we make a mistake.”

Mary Jean Yde is the instructor and choreographer for the group, which generally performs twice a month.

“We all make the costumes,” Sharp said.

Elaine Schuler, of Clintonville, is the costume lady. Sometimes, the women find their own costumes.

Ann Van Grinsven performs between costume changes with her Granny Annie and Bible Ladies routines.

Sharp had been a tap dancer when she was young, however when the group started she hadn’t done it for 37 years.

It isn’t necessary to have tap dance experience to join the group. They practice once a week for an hour and a half at the Clintonville Recreation Center.

“We’ve had a lot of laughs,” Sharp said. “It’s a really good time and a good group of women.”

Their next performance will be at the United Methodist Church in Clintonville at noon Dec. 5. On Dec. 12 they will be at the Civic Center in Shawano at 10:30 a.m.

For more information, call Rosalee Roloff at 715-823-2034.