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Founded in 1989 by Lynn Peters Adler, J.D.
Centenarian Expert and Older Adults Advocate

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Excerpt from Sex and the Seasoned Woman, by Gail Sheehy

The Dancing Dolls of Scottsdale - Essie Brown

"In Sheehy’s most groundbreaking work since Passages, Sex and the Seasoned Woman: Pursuing the Passionate Life, she reports on the emergence of a new phenomenon among Boomer women. Traveling across the country Sheehy spoke with women from their 40s to their 90s about the about sex, dating, new dreams, divorce, remarriage, spiritual growth, and seeking ways to live more passionately in the second half of their lives."

Excerpted from Gail Sheehy's website:

"Sex and the Seasoned Woman," by Gail Sheehy

Excerpt from Sex and the Seasoned Woman: Pursuing the Passionate Life, by Gail Sheehy, Random House, 2006

The Dancing Dolls of Scottsdale 

... If younger people lump all those over 70 into one indistinguishable, irrele­vant, and invisible pool, it’s because they haven’t been exposed to con­temporary senior centers in the dance capital of America. Every winter, thousands of women and men in their fully seasoned years abandon the shut-in months in the northern states to converge on Phoenix and its environs. They come for the same reason, best expressed by one of the regulars at the Thursday dances, Essie Brown, who was interviewed at Scottsdale Senior Center on her 106th birthday. She had outlived three husbands, but she had always found a new dance partner. On this birthday she was looking for another new one because her last partner had just died.
         “Does he have to be good-looking?” the interviewer asked.
          “No, honey, he just has to know how to move his feet.”
          “Why do you love to dance?” “Because it keeps me alive.”
          And indeed, she stayed alive to the age of 108..."

In Sheehy's book, Lynn Adler goes on to say: "The older people become, the more they are shunned by society. We all like attention, women and men; we don’t outgrow that. If it is hard to get a compliment at sixty, it’s nearly impossible at a hundred. It’s not easy to make ourselves pretty every day; it takes a lot of time, effort, and motivation. What is it that gives some people that inner motivation?”

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