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The Berkshires

Timeless Tappers tap on!

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Albany/HV: Timeless Tappers tap on!
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They wear glittery costumes and fishnet stockings, while performing in front of big crowds. But as our Erin Connolly tell us, this spunky group of dancers isn't exactly what you would expect!

COLONIE, N.Y. -- These young at heart ladies, also known as the "Timeless Tappers," dance for their fellow seniors. Since 1987, members have volunteered their time and talent, performing at retirement facilities, nursing homes and hospitals.

Timeless Tapper Kathy Engelhardt said, ''We get such wonderful feedback. These are the most wonderful audiences in the world. They're very appreciative. They don't mind if we mess up, and we do, we have to admit it.''

And everything really comes full circle when an audience member is a former Timeless Tapper, just like 86-year-old Helen Fitzgerald.

''We call ourselves the Tapless Timers," she said. "The ones who used to do it but can't anymore.''

Janet Murphy is the instructor of the dance troop. She's a former Radio City Rockette who still dances with the Rockettes alumni.

''The ladies get a little bit of the Manhattan flavor and a little bit of the Broadway performance style through my choreography,'' said Murphy.

The tappers say dancing keeps them young, keeps them fulfilled, and keeps them going.

Timeless Tapper Ann Walsh said, ''You can forget everything that is going on and just dance to the music.''

''All of us here love it," said Engelhardt. "We dance through pain. We dance through muscle aches. We dance through lousy weather.''

And for these senior dancers, it's clear. Age is just a number.

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