Queen of the Day The Sun City Poms Make Retirement Look Fun Parry Ernsberger

I dare you to think of something that’s more instantly adorable than little old ladies with pom-poms. Puppies? Nope. Babies? Definitely not. A baby snuggling with a puppy? Maybe. If you’ve never been fortunate enough to actually see a bunch of little old ladies with pom-poms though, then today’s your lucky day.

The Sun City Poms were founded in 1979 in Sun City, Arizona, a retirement town not far from Phoenix. They initially came together to root for the Sun City Saints’ women’s softball team, but now the elderly cheerleading squad has become an independent entity worth rooting for on their own. Each member of the high-kickin’ team is over 55 and they have no problem rockin’ the hell of out of some lycra (and fringe and sequins). The Poms, who are undoubtedly more flexible than me or anyone I know, perform at 50+ venues every year, and have high standards of excellence to uphold: “Dance skills of rhythm, agility, poise, energy, and showmanship for performing” are a must, according to their website, and “acrobatics and baton twirling are a plus.” I’m already impressed.

But it’s not just their showy costumes and age-defying splits that make the Poms stand out. Whether they know it or not, these women are helping people see the elderly in a completely different light.

“Spending time with these ladies made me consider how Americans view the aging process,” said Todd Antony, the photographer who shot the Poms in Arizona. “One end of the spectrum are the child beauty pageants with children trying to fast-track their years whilst at the other end are these fabulous pom pom ladies who are successfully and gracefully holding back the years.”

Ah ha! So that’s the secret. Forget the creams, the botox, the diet and exercise — can someone get over here and help me with this baton?

Featured image via Todd Antony


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  2. They performed at my high school’s homecoming assembly one year. Good times.