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‘Don’t call us grans, we’re pom-pom girls’


‘Don’t call us grans, we’re pom-pom girls’

Decades ago, Fumie Takino founded Japan Pom Pom and its members, aged 60 to 89, are having a ball

Elaine Lies and Akira Tomoshige

Pom-poms rustle and silver shoes flash as Japan Pom Pom practises, moving to a lively cheer dance beat. With members aged between 60 and 89, they’re no ordinary squad, but don’t you dare call them grannies.

“Right at the start, we weren’t very happy about being called ‘granny cheer dancers’,” says Fumie Takino, the bubbly, energetic 89-year-old who founded Japan Pom Pom — average age, 72 — more than 25 years ago.

At a recent weekly practice, resumed after a year off, mask-wearing members checked temperatures before stretching, then moved into their dance routines — socially distanced, of course...

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