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GoldenGirls

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski | Mar 11, 2013, midnight
Dr. Jamila Williams gets her groove on performing as a member of the Phoenix Suns’ Golden Grannies. Barry Gossage

It’s not all fun and games though. The Grannies have to re-audition every year during a three-hour session.

“You realize how old we are?” Williams says about the auditions. “Come on now, we’re not 21, 22, 25 even. I think I’m one of the younger ones, but still it gets to you.”

Rehearsals can be tough and the performances scary, too. This isn’t a tribute to their age. The Grannies dance to the likes of Tyga’s “Rack City Chicks” and Chamillionaire’s “Ridin’ Dirty.”

“The first time I performed, I was afraid,” Williams admits. “I sang. I performed. I did all this stuff. But we got through the first one. The music started and it was over. It was such a rush. It was on YouTube. I think every season, the first performance is always the fun one. All the anticipation and the practicing and going through tryouts and making it. It’s like ‘Yay! Another year!’”

But more important than being in the spotlight is providing a good role model to women 50 and older, Williams says.

“I think that it’s inspiring to others,” she explains. “We practice sometimes in the driveway or in the garage. One woman came up to us and said, ‘Wow! How old do you have to be? How do you try out?’ You look at the women’s lives and you feel empowered.

“You can grow old and sit in a rocking chair. But the oldest Granny is 84 years old. Women in their 70s, it’s not over for you. You can be out there performing just like we are.”

Fans wishing more information, can contact Kip Helt via email at khelt@suns.com or by phone at (602) 379-7951.

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