88 And Doing Great!!!!

These are "my girls" in our Can Can Dance. However two of them are missing in the picture. I am the one on the left. Ages of my ladies are 68.69,70,73,75,76,80 and 88 (me).
Here I am with our bartender on stage in our play of "The Wild Wild West".

 By Lorraine Brodsky (ret. From Holland Hill School in 1985)

Just wanted to let you know that I am still “going strong” at age 88!  My actual birth-date was February 29, 1924.  Yes, I was a Leap-Year baby.  But, in those days, some doctors would not recognize Leap Year day as a legal birth date, so my mother had to choose between Feb. 28th or March 1st, which is my LEGAL birth date.  My friends on my island gave me a SUPER Leap-Year Birthday Party!

I still choreograph dances and have a group of ladies called THE ISLAND GIRLS.  We  are members of our Theater Guild, and we put on two shows throughout the year:  one in February which we perform for four evenings to a full house each night.  Then, we perform different dances under a huge tent during our Spring Festival in late March.  I also teach a BEGINNERS’ LINE DANCING CLASS starting in January and usually have a class of 30-35 eager dancers!  Last year I started a Therapeutic Dance Class for people who could still dance while sitting in a chair or holding on to some support.  I have a registered nurse who works with me-she is terrific.

I come back to CT in July, August and September and stay with my daughter and son-in-law in Granby CT.  I always wished that you could have a SUMMER REUNION of some type for those who cannot come during the school year.  I still drive; but, I no longer drive on the major highways like I-95 and I-91.  I used to drive down to have lunch with my former colleagues; however, I cannot drive down there, and most of my friends do not drive at all.  I am much more comfortable driving down here in Florida where I am more familiar with things.

I taught in Milford for eleven years and then moved to Fairfield where I taught in Holland Hill School until my retirement in 1985.  I DID return to Holland Hill part-time when my principal, Peg Nemec, introduced a program called PROJECT PRIDE.  When her idea was accepted, she asked me to take over the program.  Her theory was that we were at the time very concerned with the GIFTED children in academics, but what about those children who were GIFTED in the arts???  So I came back part-time and had groups of selected children (selected by their classroom teachers) come to me, and we worked on dramas that also included a lot of dancing and singing.  A few of the teachers said that there was some improvement in classroom attention.

If any of you come anywhere close to Stuart, Florida or Port St. Lucie, you can find our little island in Jensen Beach.  We are NOT A 55 and over community!  We have lots of children and dogs down here!  Just drop in!!! Email me at lorbrodsky@gmail.com  .


This is my group doing the "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers". We repeat this dance each year at our "Christmas in the Round" in our parking lot. In picture #2 I am the one in front at left end. We're already practicing for this year (written Oct. 2012).
Three years ago we were bunnies in the 2009 show. I am on the right.

Life on Nettles Island

I live on a place called "Nettles Island" which is on the East Coast of Florida.  I can walk down to the beach if I so desire.  I prefer the pool and the hot tub!  We are a VERY ACTIVE group!  We have : Men's Club, Women's Club, Bocce, Tennis, Horseshoes, Line Dancing, Zumba, "Clown College", Chorus, K-9 Club, (yes, dogs are welcome if they are on a leash-only 2 to a family).  We even have a Political Group and a Women's Discussion Group.  We have a group of girls who are at our Rec Hall every morning from 7:30 a.m.-8:15 a.m. doing exercise to a program on a screen.  We also have a group that do pool exercises from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.  We have miniature golf and shuffleboard.

However, my first love is the THEATRE GUILD, and I started the ISLAND GIRLS IN 2003. There have been some changes in our group, but about 4 out of the group of 8 are still with us from the original membership.  I have them every Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. When all of the ladies come down, we start working on our shows for 2013...Most of my girls wear wigs when performing.  I don't because I have too much hair to fit under a wig.

Our end-of-February show is performed FOUR nights in a row, and we have one matinee for the handicapped audience.  My group performs TWO dances for this show-one a TAP routine and one a character number.  I do all of the choreography and then have a "partner" who works with them to make them look good.  It is a VERY DEDICATED group!!!!!  Not everyone can take it.

Then we have a Spring Festival at the end of March that lasts for FOUR days and evenings!  We do one matinee and one evening performance on a Sunday.  Our parking lot is cleared away, and we have a HUGE circus tent put up in the middle of the parking lot and a smaller tent for "eats" and special music.

When my husband passed away in 2006, I immediately sold my house in Milford, CT because I KNEW that Nettles Island was where I belonged!!

In 2008 I also started a BEGINNERS' LINE DANCING CLASS because I saw a great need for it.  Some people cound not "catch on" to some of our line dances because they had never learned the BASICS.  It became a very popular class!  I always begin it on the first Monday in January from 8:30-9:30 a.m!  I wait until then because a lot of our people (particularly Canadians) do not come down until after the Christmas Holidays.  The class has grown to about 35-45.  So I have a few of "my girls" as assistants.  My partner and I started a Beginners' Tap Class three years ago.  That class also begins in January.

This past Leap Year (Feb. 29th), my friends gave me a wonderful LEAP YEAR birthday party.  According to them I was only 22!!!!! (How I wish!).  But, when I was born in 1924, some doctors frowned at the "Leap Year" births.  So my mother had to chooswe either February 28th or March 1st.  She chose the latter, and that is my LEGAL birth date.

My latest project is a THERAPEUTIC DANCE AND EXERCISE GROUP for the handicapped.  I have a registered nurse working with me.  We still have a lot of work to do to see if this idea will be accepted and successful.

GOD has been good to me.  I am blessed!  But I know the SOME DAY my time will come, and then, HOPEFULLY, I can get to "Dance With the Angels"!!!!!!!  Would love to hear from any REF members at my email address lorbrodsky@gmail.com  .

Dottie Bengoian 30.10.2015 14:08

Wonderful to read about u, Lorraine!What an inspiration u are- have so many fond memories of u. Remember, Attention Please! starting day happier after reading

Cindy Burr Ramsey 02.10.2015 00:31

Does anyone know whether Lorraine is still alive and well on Nettles Island? I was a student of hers in the 1970s, and would love to reconnect. Thank you!!

Paula Sweeley 02.10.2015 02:43

Hi Cindy,
If you will email me a message for Lorraine to psweeley@att.net, I will forward it to her. I am the membership chairwoman for the REF.

Dede Kirkconnell, Sarasota, Fl 29.11.2012 00:11

Hooray for you Lorraine. You look grand. So young and full of fun as always.

pat Thornton/o'Dwyer 26.11.2012 23:53

lorraine,I was one of your Ffld school dancers in New YorkN.Y. show at Tomlinson years ago.You taught us to tap.I loved it.Thankyou! U r Great!
Pat O'Dwyer

Paula S. 26.11.2012 19:44

Lorraine, I truly admire your enthusiasm and energy. Not many 88-year-olds could keep up with you!!!!

Patti Morken 12.11.2012 17:56

Hi Lorraine

So nice to hear from you and as you remember I lived 4 doors down on the corner of Craig Place. We also moved to South Carolina after I retired.

Paula S. 12.11.2012 16:07

Way to go Lorraine!!! It is so inspiring to read about all of the wonderful activities you pursue. Keep it up!!!

Lorraine Brodsky 06.11.2012 19:35

Would like to hear from any retiree.

Lorraine Brodsky 10.11.2012 01:09

Enjoyed writing the article.

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