By Rick Morwick
When Lori Mansell-Solinksi retired from teaching at age 70, she didn’t retire from life. Instead, she learned to tap dance and joined a dance troupe. A few years later, she created one of her own.
Today, at age 90, she’s still tapping away.
A Fishers resident, Mansell-Solinski is a founding member of Prime Time Follies of Carmel, a group of eight senior-age performers who entertain residents in senior living facilities in Carmel. The group features singers, tap dancers, a keyboard player and a soloist.
“I moved to Carmel from California in 2003 after tap dancing in groups such as the Hot Flashes, and I wanted to start a group of volunteers to go out to senior facilities to ‘give back’ without charging for entertainment,” said Mansell-Solinski, who moved to Fishers two years ago with her husband, Ed Solinski, 87, who also is part of the group.
Created in 2003, Prime Time Follies of Carmel initially entertained at facilities in Carmel, Indianapolis, Westfield and other parts of Hamilton County. But in light of health challenges for some of the performers (the youngest is 67, the eldest is 92), the group now only performs at Carmel facilities, such as ManorCare Assisted Living of Summer Trace, Sunrise Senior Living, Carmel Senior Living and The Stratford, among other senior centers.
“I have had to cut down going to more places due to the health issues of the volunteers,” Mansell-Solinski said. “We did 40 shows a year in the past, but we are now down to two shows a week and take off in January and February. I wish I could go to every place that requested us.”
Besides Mansell-Solinksi and her husband, the Prime Time Follies volunteers are Bonnie Kincaid, 92; Meredith Bovin, 67; Joyce Washburn, 87; Sandy Fortier, 69; Charles Alloy, 86; and Kathy Doyle, 71.
“The volunteers and members of our audiences make me feel so good,” Mansell-Solinski said. “We have so much fun performing.”