Sharon Harvey-Rosenberg, an award-winning news reporter and a two-time book author on finance, is now a hip-hop dancer with a popular senior dance team in Miami. Before she picked up her dancing shoes, she worked as a journalist for the Miami Herald, a blogger for Baptist Health South Florida, and a social media manager for a software company, where she was laid off in 2019 due to a merger. The pink slip delivered an unexpected perk: Sharon — age 61 at the time — suddenly had more time and energy to focus on her dreams of creative writing and dancing.
She had a head start: In the summer of 2018, she had already tried out and earned a coveted spot on a Senior Dance Squad, which performed at different sport and community events in South Florida. Dancers on the Senior Dance Squad had to be at least 60 years old to audition for the team.
“I always wanted to be a dancer. I wanted to turn 60 sooooo much in order to make the Senior Dance team. Most people don’t want to age, but I wanted to get older so I could be a hip-hop dancer!”
To prepare for tryouts, she signed up for ballet and jazz dance classes at the Miami City Ballet and went through extensive training. All her hard work paid off! She made the team as one of the younger dancers—just weeks after her 60th birthday.
Sharon made friends with some of the older dancers, including Carolyn, an ageless dancer whose son, Ed, attended many of the Senior Dance Squad’s events. When Carolyn mentioned that Ed was 54, that information sparked Sharon’s interest in her future neighbor and pandemic buddy Ed.
“Before the pandemic, I was living the life dancing and enjoying my part-time work as a Barista at Starbucks. Even if I got let go it would have given me more time to dance and write. Then the pandemic hit, and in the snap of my fingers, my world fell apart. My world got very small. My world became the four walls of my apartment.”
When sporting events, concerts and other public activities shut down, the dancing also stopped. The senior center — where the group rehearsed and Sharon used to go to classes and the gym — also shut down. She also opted to leave Starbucks because as an older frontline worker, she felt especially vulnerable during the early days of the pandemic. To compensate, she filled her home with exercise equipment. She and Ed, who lives down the hall, became quarantine buddies. Sharon and Ed went from being two people living vibrant lives at the center of a busy hub of activity to being just the two of them for most of the time.
“Thank goodness I had Ed! He’s my hero.”
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Sharon Harvey-Rosenberg first heard about GetSetUp thanks to South Florida Institute on Aging (SoFIA), which sent out an opportunity for tablets with wireless internet to members who signed up.
“Ed and I came for the tablets but we also got access to GetSetUp. It made our world bigger again.”
Sharon has enjoyed the classes on yoga and weight training, qigong class, and stretching and yoga. Inspired and motivated by GetSetUp, Sharon wrote a children’s book called My Amazing Hair -- A coily autobiography, which will be published during the year-end holiday season. After attending a five-part GetSetUp class on finding one’s purpose in life, Sharon also set up Twitter and Instagram accounts (@MyAmazingHair) for her soon-to-be-published book.
GetSetUp also provided a way for Sharon and Ed to stay connected when Sharon traveled to Orlando to help her 85-year-old mother. By taking the same GetSetUp classes on healthy living and other subjects, Sharon and Ed stayed connected even though they were some distance apart.
“I just love the goal-setting classes. They have inspired me to write again. I am thinking about doing my own blog and that idea came out of the goals setting class.”
“There is always a rainbow at the end of the problems. You just have to look for it,” Ed says, and Sharon agrees.
She’s looking forward to more options for creative writing on GetSetUp and plans to look for other community members interested in creative writing, poetry, or enhancing the creative process.
Join learners like Sharon in a virtual community full of creativity, movement, and a broader worldview.
Cheryl finds lifelong friendships online over time and as she ages. GetSetUp has given her a chance to share her stories, laugh, reminisce and make new friends through cr
"I’m doing things that at 73 I never thought I would be doing!” said Susan.