Tap dancing with a Broadway star      

TIM JEAN/Staff photoProfessional dancer Jonalyn Saxer from the Broadway show “Mean Girls’’ dances with members of the Sunset Tappers at Dance Infusion in Andover.

 

Andover's esteemed group of senior citizen tap dancers, who perform at various events around town, just added some Broadway moves to their impressive dance cards.

Members of the Sunset Tappers group were thrilled when they got to dance with an experienced Broadway dancer.

Jonalyn Saxer, 27, stopped by an otherwise ordinary Sunset Tappers rehearsal at the Dance Infusion studio on Lupine Road recently and danced with the group.

Saxer, who is from New York City, was in the area because she appeared recently in "Mean Girls" at the Boston Opera House. The traveling show was in Boston and ended its two-week run on Feb. 9.

Saxer plays a character named Karen in the show, which is written by well-known "Saturday Night Live" alum Tina Fey. "Mean Girls" is also a movie.

Saxer is a relative of Sunset Tapper Pamela Walker of Andover, who arranged the dance visit.

"She's on my husband's (Donald Walker) side of the family,'' Pamela Walker said. "Jonalyn is a cousin and I am just glad a visit to Andover finally worked out.''

Sunset Tappers members were thrilled to have the top-shelf dancing experience with Saxer, who has been in five Broadway shows.

"It was just great," said Sunset Tapper member Audrey Nason of Andover. "Jonalyn is a sweetheart, and we had so much fun dancing together. We just loved the experience."

Saxer grew up in Thousand Oaks, California, and is the youngest of four sisters. Her family was always involved in community theater productions, Pamela Walker said, and keeps in touch with their relatives, the Walkers, of Andover.

"We see her parents every year and when we saw the show, they were there,'' Pamela Walker said. "We all went back stage. We all went to dinner that night with Jonalyn who stayed until she had to leave for the show."

Nason also said the just-hired new Andover senior center director, Jane Burns, stopped by the Broadway-infused rehearsal.

"It was a good opportunity to introduce her to the Sunset Tappers," Nason said of Burns.

All dance club rehearsals at the senior center have temporarily moved to Dance Infusion while the senior center is closed for renovations.

 

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