Who Are We? And How Did We Come to Be?
About Us - 9-TIME
State Senior Games
GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

Davesene Lawson, Webmaster
davesenelawson@durhamdivas.org
Divas at the Carolina Theater
Reopening Ceremony


STATE SENIOR GAMES
MEDALS

Bronze Medal
2005

Silver Medal
2007 & 2010


GOLD MEDAL

2006, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012,  2013,
2014,
2015, and 2016
  

                           Historical Overview of the
           Durham Senior Divas ‘N Dude Cheerleaders


   The Durham Senior Divas Cheerleaders were organized in February of 2004 as another means of just having fun and
promoting good health at the area YMCA.  The Team Captain, Louise Gooche, had seen another group of senior citizens
performing cheers, and she thought, “ we can do that too.”  Officials at the “Y” embraced the idea of “senior” cheerleaders
and stated that they would sponsor the group.   Members at the "Y" saw the seniors rehearsing each week and started to
invite them to perform at various events.  The “Y’ featured the squad in a promotional televised video to emphasize the
importance of exercise and good health.  After about 2 years of being organized, a male was recruited to join the Divas,
hence the name Durham Senior Divas 'n Dude.  Even more recently, a second Dude joined the group adding an "s" now to
the Dude portion of the name; thus, The Durham Senior Divas 'n Dudes.

   The Team continues to excite crowds throughout the Triangle community and surrounding counties as they perform
their high-spirited cheers in North Carolina!  Only 3 members of the squad were cheerleaders in middle and high school –
the rest of the squad were brand new to cheerleading!  When first organized, the age range was 60-83 (the first coach was
not included – she was a “baby” in her 30’s!) They started to compete in the North Carolina State Senior Games in 2005
where they have won one bronze, 2 silver and 7 gold medals (thus far).  They have received special recognitions from
UNC-TV, Durham Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, NBC-TV 17, Harris Teeter grocery chain, WRAL-TV ,
Department of Veterans Affairs, Alzheimer’s Association, and AARP for their contributions and involvements in community
activities and the promotion of senior health and wellness.  They have performed in various walk-a-thons; parades in
Durham, Raleigh, and Hillsborough, NC.; UNC-TV telethons; UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine (Gerontology
Department) Annual Health Conference; Duke University Medical Center Dancing for Life event; health fairs, press
conferences, arts and cultural festivals, Centerfest, and other community affairs through the Durham Parks and
Recreation Department.  They have been featured on the websites of the University of North Carolina, North Carolina State
University, North Carolina Senior Games,  and You Tube.  They have presented lectures to medical students since 2005
relating to senior health at UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University School of Nursing.  They were featured in the July 2007
edition of
Our State Magazine and on the 2008 cover of the North Carolina Recreation and Parks Association publication,
NCRPA News.  The squad performed half-time for the Mid Eastern Atlantic Coast Basketball tournament (MEAC) in 2007,
2008, and 2009.  They brought excitement to the crowd as they performed on the Tom Joyner Morning Show in 2007.  They
continued their promotion of fun and fitness as they “shook their pom-poms” at the North Carolina Roller Derby
(Rollergirls) in 2007 and 2009, the Harvest Feast sponsored by Harris Teeter, WRAL-TV, NBC-TV 17 Health Extravaganza,
and the 2007 Golden Celebration sponsored by WRAL-TV in Raleigh, NC.  They have provided entertainment at the
Durham Senior Holiday Party each December for several years. They really know how to get the crowd in the “holiday
spirit.”  

   Although they did not accept the offers, the squad was invited in 2009 to become performers for the NASCAR Motor
Speedway and America Most Talented TV show.  The extensive contracts were too binding!  They were the “stars of the
day” as they performed for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the Research Park in 2009.  They were featured in
former Gov. Purdue’s traveling portraits of  People and Faces in North Carolina in 2011.  The story of the Divas ‘n Dude
was presented in a film documentary, "In the House” in 2013 at the Hyati Film Festival and at the Grand Premiere Showing  
at Healing with CAARE, Inc. also in 2013.  The documentary was produced and directed by the Mass Communication
Department of North Carolina Central University in Durham.

   Coached by Althea Williams, the squad continues to be “movers and shakers” in North Carolina.  They demonstrate
First Lady Michelle Obama’s initiative, “Let’s get Moving!"  They are a crowd pleaser for any event, and they believe that,
“You don’t stop playing because you grow old, you grow old when you stop playing."