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The Reel World: Age is just a number

Age is an attitude and not a number, right? The older adults featured in these joyful documentaries certainly believe that. As they embrace new experiences such as speed dating, competing in pageants and joining a dancing troupe, they prove it is never too late to dream new dreams. 

The Calendar Girls

women in unicorn costumesAll you middle-aged ladies - feeling invisible? Need a creative boost? Want a sense of purpose in life? Then pull on your sassy fringed skirt, adjust your bedazzled unicorn headpiece and get ready to dance! The Calendar Girls, a song and dance team with more than 50 members, perform in nursing homes, at community events and in parades as a fundraiser for a service dog charity. There’s sunspots and sag, but who cares when the costumes are fabulous, the energy is high, and the smiles a mile-wide?  

With more than 100 performances per year plus hours of practice, being a Calendar Girl is a huge commitment of time and effort. Yet, this unique dance troupe benefits its members in so many ways. Of course, there’s health benefits (and oh those gals have great gams!) but more importantly there’s friendship, community and fun.  

The Age of Love

old hands making a heartFive minutes. Fifteen potential dates. The twist? These speed daters are all over the age of 70. From Matt with his hearing aids, cane and oxygen to skydiving Addie planning her next international hiking trip, the featured seniors in Steven Loring’s charming documentary are eager to attend Rochester’s first ever Senior Speed Dating event.

No one expects their Prince or Princess Charming to be at the speed dating event, but everyone is hopeful and open to this new experience. Jan's still looking for her soulmate. Adventurous Addie wants a physical relationship. Nancy would be happy to have someone to share dinner with. As with dating at any age, there’s awkwardness and hurt feelings, but also connections and even true love.


Shelley in Wonderland 

women on a bus wearing tiarasIt’s time to pack up the evening dresses and don your tiara – the Ms. Senior USA Pageant is about to begin! With fabulous Las Vegas as your host, you’ll join other ladies, all over the age of 60, and strut your stuff across a glittering stage. Whether singing, dancing or baton twirling, you’ll prove to yourself and others that, as Shelley Gish puts it, you can “still shine as an older lady.” 

Divorced three times and mother to eight, 63-year-old Shelley lost a part of herself in caring for others. Competing in pageants was one way to do something for herself. As Ms. Senior Utah, she’s eager and nervous to compete in the 2019 national pageant. As the filmmakers document her pageant journey, Shelley reflects on the challenges in her past life and embraces her new life as a contestant in an age-positive, empowering pageant. 

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