ShareThis Page

Pleasant Hills' Peppy Steppers partial toward dancing, coffee and conversation

| Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
Patty Spano, Diane Hughes and Beverly Shaulis of the Peppy Steppers dance to “Sex on the Beach” as part of their weekly routine.
Brittany Goncar | South Hills Record
Patty Spano, Diane Hughes and Beverly Shaulis of the Peppy Steppers dance to “Sex on the Beach” as part of their weekly routine.
Joe and Leda Dominick, two of the longest-serving Peppy Stepper members, dance to “Blue Moon.”
Joe and Leda Dominick, two of the longest-serving Peppy Stepper members, dance to “Blue Moon.”

Chairs screech on the floor of the Pleasant Hills Community Room when “Come Go with Me” by the Alley Cats sounds from the cassette player.

“That's our cue,” said Diane Hughes, the senior citizen coordinator in Pleasant Hills. The group shuffles onto the dance floor and begins a series of line dances. The routines range from fast to slow with turns and jazz squares, providing a good workout.

The Peppy Steppers dance from 10 a.m. to noon every Tuesday.

Joe Dominick, Baldwin Borough, brings his wife, Leda, each week and they always dance to a slow song in the corner. They have been members for 33 years. Many of the original members are not around, so no one is quite sure when the group started.

Mary Gaza, of Pleasant Hills, is the oldest member at 102 but was absent last week.

“She doesn't do some of the turns,” dance leader Beverly Shaulis said, “but she gets up and dances.” Although most members are in their 80s, there is a wide age range from mid 50s to members in their 100s. The cost is $2 a month.

“I started (coming) because I have five weddings this year,” said Diane McGreevy, Whitehall, a recent member. “I wanted to learn line dancing for the weddings.”

Shaulis leads the dances each week, teaching helpful numbers like “Cupid Shuffle” and “The Cha-Cha Slide.” She was the senior citizen coordinator at Pleasant Hills for 19 years, but retired in December to move to North Carolina at the end of the summer.

“I took over because nobody else could remember the dances,” Shaulis said.

Hughes took over as senior citizen director in January. She taught at Carrick High School for 26 years, then served as a secondary English supervisor for Pittsburgh Public Schools for eight years before retiring in 2005.

“I feel like a teacher again,” Hughes said. “It's fun. They are all good people.”

When they aren't dancing, the Peppy Steppers take a break to catch up on news and maybe enjoy a doughnut or two. Each week, doughnuts are donated by Kribel's Bakery in Pleasant Hills.

Parties are held once a month and often used to celebrate major holidays. The cost increases to $3 a party, but the day is extended to include lunch, bingo and dancing.

“We like our coffee and conversation,” Hughes said.

Brittany Goncar is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5803 or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.