Retirement community’s cheer squad inspiring women over 55 to “inspire before we expire”

The Sun City Poms is a community of energetic and passionate women over the age of 55 who reside in the retirement community of Sun City, Arizona. Established in 1979, the team comprises women who love dancing, performing, and staying active.

The team’s vibrant performances at parades, festivals, and events throughout the state have gained immense popularity over the years.

Despite the demanding schedule of three-hour practices three days a week, the women remain committed to the team, driven by their love for dancing and performing. For them, being part of the Sun City Poms is not just about staying physically active, but also about building friendships, fostering a sense of community, and having fun.

President Peggy Parsons, 81, explained that her passion for dancing led her to join the team, and not all members have a history of cheerleading or participation in marching bands. Mary Zirbel, a member of the team who twirls batons, has been doing it since grade school and gained most of her knowledge from a book.

The Sun City Poms currently has 30 members and a few trainees who can join the team after completing a three-month course, mastering two routines, and demonstrating their skills. The age range of current members is from 58 to 90 years old, and Parsons shared that the crowd cheers louder for the older members. The team performs in roughly 40 to 50 events annually, such as parades, conventions, and memory care facilities.

Parsons, who is also a published author of romance novels, explained the squad’s motto: “We aspire to inspire before we expire.” She has found great value in being able to share a lot with the group, and as one of the older members, she sometimes feels like a mother figure. According to her, these are the best years of her life.