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Parsons outfits dancers at senior center

Sandy Parsons teaches dance and sews costumes for the dancers at Madison Senior Center. She is wearing the sweater for one outfit that she created. RECORD PHOTO/Gregg L. Parker
Sandy Parsons teaches dance and sews costumes for the dancers at Madison Senior Center. She is wearing the sweater for one outfit that she created. RECORD PHOTO/Gregg L. Parker
Sandy Parsons designed and sewed the 1950s poodle skirt ensembles for the Madison Starlighters at Madison Senior Center. CONTRIBUTED
Sandy Parsons designed and sewed the 1950s poodle skirt ensembles for the Madison Starlighters at Madison Senior Center. CONTRIBUTED
MADISON – For fellow members at Madison Senior Center, Sandy Parsons shares two of her talents to keep the kick steps in rhythm and costumes ready for the spotlight.
Parsons volunteers at the center as instructor for dance classes. In addition, she designs and sews the costumes that the dancers wear for their public appearances.
“I teach dancing to intermediate and advanced classes at the center. I took tap and ballet lessons while I was growing up,” Parsons said.
She also performed in several recitals and served as an assistant teacher.
For the seamstress skills that she now uses, Parsons “learned to sew in high school in my home economics class. I am grateful for it. I am not a professional seamstress, but I do create and sew the costumes for my advanced dance class.
In past years, the Madison Starlighters dance group has worn Parsons’ designs in poodle skirts and poodle sweaters in pink and black for a retro look back to the 1950s. Over the years, the dancers have worn western uniforms, blue denim ensembles and other snappy apparel.
“Our proudest moments are when we perform at the annual Madison Street Festival!” Parsons said. “We have been fortunate to be apart of the festival for numerous years.” They recently performed at this year’s street festival on Oct. 1 at the gazebo.
“We have danced many times at several of the assisted-living villages in Madison County,” Parsons said. They have performed at churches, business openings and at the Alabama Visitors Center in Elkmont.
Madison Starlighters dancers also have participated in several competitions in the North Alabama Senior Olympics. The Madison dancers have earned silver and bronze medals before line dancing was eliminated as a category, Parsons said.
In 2013, the line dancers from Madison Senior Center entered as contestants in the Master Games of Alabama, District II, held at the Huntsville-Madison County Senior Center. Masters Games of Alabama are a recreational competition for seniors who are 50 years and older.
The senior center’s advanced dance class meets on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1 to 2:30 p.m. On Thursdays, Parsons teaches the beginner and intermediate dancers from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Madison Senior Center’s address is 1282 Hughes Road. For more information, call 256-772-6258 or visit www.madisonal.gov.

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