The ‘senior dancer’ controversy of 2015

It’s only Monday but we already have a clubhouse leader in the “I didn’t see that coming” competition.

It stems from last week’s Star Tribune feature on the senior dancers at Lynx and Timberwolves games. The women of a certain age might be the most beloved half-time and game-break act in the Twin Cities.

Today, however, Sharon Carlson, of Andover, writes in the Star Tribune that the paper should be ashamed.

I cringed when I saw in the Oct. 13 Variety section that older women were used as entertainment during a Minnesota Lynx finals game at Target Center. I abhor the disrespectful and demeaning way middle-aged and elderly women are portrayed in the media. Even the headline (“Twerk it, grandma”) was a humiliating attempt at humor.

The Senior Dancers are popular at these events not because of their physical prowess and their athleticism — it is only for a good laugh. The Star Tribune ought to be ashamed! It’s just too easy to assume that our elders have nothing to contribute to our society except for giggles about their age. Time and again the media portrays people older than 65 as a joke, as irrelevant and filled to the brim with disabilities. The Senior Dancers twerking, jiggling, shaking their hips and making duck lips to the crowd highlights foolish preconceived notions that these ladies’ worth is tied only to a declining physical presence.

It is to our detriment that we disregard the wisdom, the intelligence and the stamina of this highly valuable, extraordinary group of people. After all, they bring so much more to the table.

We didn’t see that coming.