Golden Girls Celebrate 50th Anniversary
COLUMBIA - This football season marks the 50th anniversary for the Golden Girls, one of the spirit squads at the University of Missouri.
Originally featuring a group of baton twirlers, the Golden Girls has transformed over the past decades into the dancing line it is today.
"The Golden Girls is something special to be a part of," said Katherine Biek, a former Golden Girl. "The group has so much history at Mizzou and it's such a large part of Mizzou culture."
For Mizzou's home game on Saturday, the marching band decided to honor the dance group known for their gold dresses and white boots. To help celebrate the occasion, more than 100 alumni came back to dance with the current students. While Golden Girls alumni come back every homecoming to march in the alumni band, they haven't performed in the halftime show since the 100th Homecoming anniversary in 2011.
"Just being back at band practice, there are so many memories from growing up," said Leslie Zeliff, a recent alumnus.
While the majority of the women dancing were recent graduates, there were some women performing who danced with the group more than 40 years ago.
"It was very invigorating and exciting to be a part of something that was bigger than us," said Linda Russell, a Golden Girl from 1969-71.
For other alumni, the halftime show gave moms an opportunity to dance on the field with their daughters.
KK Jones, a former Golden Girl and NFL cheerleader, got a chance to dance with her daughter Kiara Lewis.
"It's just like me all over again," Jones said. "And I know she's in a good place and I know how she feels so I'm kind of reliving it through her."
The current Golden Girls were said they were excited about the experience of performing alongside alumni.
"We take the field all football season," said Olivia Botonis, a freshman Golden Girl. "To think these are the women that started it all is one of the coolest things to be a part of."