Milwaukee’s ‘Dancing Grannies’ Devastated By Parade Crash

The brief skirts. The sparkly pompoms. The sassy hip sways. The grandchildren.

They are the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies, a marching, dancing vacation fixture in Wisconsin for nearly 40 years, and a joyful twist on America’s expectations that parades are imagined to characteristic primarily school-age dance troupes.

But tragedy struck the group when, as they marched down one more Main Street on Sunday, vacation music blaring round them, three grandmothers have been killed.

“Our group was doing what they loved, performing in front of crowds in a parade,” the group stated in an announcement Monday morning. “Putting smiles on faces of all ages, filling them with joy and happiness.”

Late Sunday afternoon, the driver of a purple SUV roared by way of a Christmas parade within the suburban Milwaukee city of Waukesha, killing not less than 5 folks and leaving 48 injured, in keeping with authorities. Police stated he had left the scene of a home dispute and didn’t seem to know anybody within the parade when he drove into the route.

Not even an hour earlier, the Grannies had referred to as out to followers on their Facebook web page.

“Waukesha here we come!!!” the submit shouted. “The Grannies are kicking off their holiday parades.”

The Dancing Grannies grew out of an train class in 1984, with dozens of ladies, most ranging in age from their mid-50s to mid-70s, biking out and in of the group over time. They have just one requirement: You have to be a grandmother.

Police recognized these killed as Virginia Sorenson, 79; LeAnna Owen, 71; Tamara Durand, 52; and Wilhelm Hospel, 81. The three ladies have been members of the Grannies, and Hospel reportedly helped the troupe with their reveals.

Jane Kulich, 52, additionally died. Local information reviews stated she labored for a neighborhood department of Citizens Bank, which issued an announcement saying an worker “was walking with our parade float” when she was struck and killed. The financial institution didn’t determine the worker.

Sorenson, a dance lover who had to surrender the pastime years in the past after surgical procedure, was the group’s longtime choreographer.

“It was like I lost a best friend” when she needed to cease dancing, she advised WDJT, the Milwaukee CBS affiliate, in an August story in regards to the group. The Grannies introduced again that pleasure. “I love it, and I love the ladies.”

David Sorenson, her husband of nearly 60 years, advised the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about how she liked working with the Grannies.

“What did she like about it? Everything,” Sorenson stated. “She liked the instructing. She liked the dancing and the camaraderie of the women. She liked to perform.”

And, he stated: “She taught me to do the cancan.”