Back when she was 80 years old, Margie Falcone of Terrytown went to a wedding and the DJ announced he was going to play something "for all the young people."


 Back when she was 80 years old, Margie Falcone of Terrytown went to a wedding and the DJ announced he was going to play something "for all the young people."
As the first notes of "The Cupid Shuffle" started, Falcone jumped right up and started to dance. "I was the only old lady," she said. "My relatives said, 'Aunt Margie, how do know how to do that?'"
Now, at age 85, Falcone is the second-oldest woman in the Seniors Toe the Line line dance club, eclipsed only by 86-year-old Yvonne Lafon, 86, of Harvey.
But although Falcone is a decade or more older than most members of the club, she is also their teacher. The club meets weekly at Oakdale Playground in Gretna to practice for two hours every Wednesday, and performs for Knights of Columbus functions and Jefferson Parish Golden Age Club events.
Falcone doesn't charge anything for her classes, but all Toe the Line members must be a member of a Jefferson Golden Age Club. They come from all over the West Bank, including Harvey and Waggaman.
Audrey Casso, a 75-year-old woman with upswept blonde hair and tiny waist, said, "She's a role model, to be able to do this at that age.
"I hope to be able to do that."
Don't know a lock step from a reverse jazz box? Falcone is your woman.
Casso and other members said they appreciate Falcone's teaching methods. "She likes to strictly follow the steps," Casso said.
Falcone's role as teacher is all the more impressive because nearly 20 years ago, she had to have a pig valve placed in her heart. She was told it would only last up to 10 years, but it's still going strong, probably thanks to the fact that she exercises regularly, she said.
When asked about dances like "Cupid Shuffle" and "The Freeze," Falcone said, "We call those 'wedding dances.' "Toe the Line dancers have an extensive repertoire that goes way beyond dances like "The Electric Slide."
One of Falcone's favorites is "The San Antonio Stroll," which has a Western feel. "This is a good one for beginners," she said.
Then there's "The Cleveland Shuffle." She said she exhorts members to go beyond shuffling around. "I tell them, 'I want you to get down and be funky.' "
And she's excited about a new dance she's brought back to the group from a big convention: "Seduced," danced to the tune, "I Want to Be Seduced."
The group does a number of Latin-flavored dances. Dancers put plenty of sass and hip rotation into their steps.
Many in the group said the class keeps them fit, both mentally and physically.
"This is the only thing keeping me alive," said Kathleen Shield, 76.
And beyond fitness, there's plenty of laughter, chatter and hugs shared, too.
That's one of the big draws for Casso. "It's the camaraderie."
Casso's husband, Jerry Casso, is the group's photographer and videographer, teasing them at every chance he can get.
These days, Falcone has to take a break every so often to sit and rest she's been told her pig valve has started leaking a bit, but it's not serious. As soon as she feels better, she's back on her feet with the rest of the class.
Casso said, "We all admire her so much."