FROM THE ST. LOUIS PARK HISTORICAL SOCIETY
The Parkettes 50th Reunion, sponsored by the St. Louis Park Historical Society, was held at the Mariott City Center on April 22, 2006. Over 350 Parkettes, parents, and Fan Club members attended. They came from all over the United States to celebrate the memories and friendships of their dancing year.
Mary Ann Evans Eckenberg and Sara Lenmark Halverson were at the reunion to explain how they, with Diane Berger Lark, approached Mrs. Fran Libby to form the group and to be the group's choreographer. The idea appealed to Mrs. Libby and she obtained permission for this new school function.
Ms. Libby was honored for her disciplined coaching and leadership. Toni Swiggum took over after Fran's death and was at the reunion to accept thanks from the "girls" for the great job she did.
Mark Rosen was the Master of Ceremonies for the event, and his selection was an excellent choice. As a graduate of St. Louis Park High and a sports reporter for the Vikings, he provided the background and the school spirit. Although it has been over ten years since the Parkettes last performed, a group of former Parkettes danced to "One Step at a Time" for the reunion.
The evening was full of smaller groups extemporaneously demonstrating that they remembered the teamwork and the steps. The formal program ended with a style show of Parkettes costumes.
As part of the reunion, the Parkettes were asked to recall their memories and the effect being a Parkette had on their lives. Just about everyone called the experience "the highlight of my life." The discipline and friendships were mentioned many times. They knew the tough discipline of practices made them very good dancers, and they were proud of being good. They learned to give 110% and to smile and keep dancing!
They remembered the practices, the points-off for slipups, and the support they got from their fellow dancers during on-stage mistakes. They all remembered the night the Parkettes arrived at their homes to tell them they were new Parkettes. They also remembered the white GoGo boots.....without love.
It was a gala affair and one to be remembered!