MIAMI (AP) – Yvonne Serecigni throws her hands in the air as she bounces across the floor in rehearsal, strutting and thrusting to blaring rap music in unison with her 12 teammates.

“Use your pelvis!” the choreographer shouts. “Pelvis! Pelvis! Pelvis!”

Serecigni, 82, is not embarrassed that thousands of Miami Heat fans will see her embracing the beat this year – and neither are the younger members of her family.

“My grandkids think I’m cool. That’s the word – cool,” she said. “I think I dance for them, for their reaction. They go around telling everybody ‘My grandmother’s a Golden Oldie.”‘

The Golden Oldies, the Heat’s senior citizen dance troupe, are celebrities in their doctors’ offices, and receive roars from Heat fans that could turn Shaquille O’Neal green with envy.

This is their fourth season.

“My husband says in basketball season I have tunnel vision,” said dancer Rosanne Morantz, 64. “I say, well, this is very important to me. Very important to me. We all really enjoy it, you can tell that. Don’t we all look like we’re having fun?”

Born out of a Jazzercise program, the Golden Oldies were the NBA’s first senior dance team – seven others have since formed. They appear at about one Heat game a month and performed at the 2006 All-Star Game in Houston.

“They straight,” Pistons’ forward Rasheed Wallace said about the Golden Oldies. “They’re out there, doing their thing. It’s a good thing for the crowd.”

The Golden Oldies rehearse behind closed doors in a back room at a senior center in suburban Pembroke Pines, blasting “Soulja Boy” for nearly two hours to perfect their shakes and turns.

“When they come out doing Soulja Boy, everyone’s going to say ‘What? Are you kidding me? How did they know how to do that?”‘ said choreographer Janine Thompson, who also directs the Heat’s better known dance team. “Not only do they perform the moves, but they perform them accurately – and the crowd loves it.”

Before the Heat’s season opener against the Detroit Pistons on Nov. 1, first-year Golden Oldie Jane Moore watched in awe as fire shot into the air, the crowd dressed in chic Miami white were on their feet and O’Neal and Co. took to the floor.

“You can feel the electricity, can’t you?” shouts Moore, 63. “Maybe it’s just a hot flash.”

High in the rafters, the Oldies’ families and friends were on hand for their season debut, including Serecigni’s daughter, Suzanne Opalka. She said her mother often asks younger family members how to perform dance steps and isn’t afraid to whip out the moves around her (occasionally embarrassed) children.

“She’s always been a bit dramatic,” Opalka said. “But she’s going to town. She’s having a good old time.”

The Oldies danced in the third quarter, with the Heat trailing and fans restless. Early in their routine at center court, the crowd seemed to be unimpressed, almost apathetic.

But midway through their performance, the Oldies stripped off their black smocks, revealing camouflage tank tops and black shirts.

The arena filled with a thunderous roar, cameras flashed and Wallace laughed and cheered from the scorer’s bench.

“That really does something for your confidence level,” Moore said after the performance. “Even though we’re all over 60, there’s nothing too hard if you really attempt, and step out and do it.”

“Oh gosh,” she said, looking flustered, exuberant and alive. “This is great.”


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