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Ballerina Crowned Ms. Senior Calhoun County

Sybill Rogers - Ms. Senior Calhoun County

By Sherry Kughn
JSU News Bureau

August 12, 2004 — Back in 1956, the first group of Marching Ballerinas at Jacksonville State University performed to "Heartbreak Hotel" and "Red Silk Stockings and Green Perfume." The songs were favorites of Sybill Rogers, who oversaw, trained, and choreographed the group.

Now, 48 years later, the longtime Jacksonville resident has been crowned Ms. Senior Calhoun County at Leone Cole Auditorium. The pageant is sponsored each year by Retired Senior Volunteers Program of Calhoun County and The Cameo Club.

Mrs. Rogers performed a baton and dance routine, along with a skit on aging; and she wore a red-sequined gown as part of the evening gown competition.

"I was excited," said Mrs. Rogers. "I enjoyed getting to know the other ladies in the pageant, and it was fun."

Mrs. Rogers is an alumna from JSU who taught dance to help pay her way through college. She has returned to take classes at JSU several times since graduation in 1972 and has studied music, English, and health and recreation. She even took classes as recently as 2001, but she was injured in a car wreck and had to spend a few years recovering.

In 1955, Southerners' Director Dr. John Finley visited the dance teacher and asked her to organize and train the first Ballerinas. She remembers well the fun she had.

  "We had eighteen who made the team, including some high school students and some married women," she said. "Of course we did not know how much it would grow."

Mrs. Rogers remembers the first uniforms white doubled-breasted jackets and shorts trimmed in red cuffs.

Mrs. Rogers has remained an active member of the Jacksonville community. She's active in the Jacksonville Lions Club, the Cameo Club, and several units of the American Legion Auxiliary. She is a member of the Delta Zeta Sorority, JSU Alumni Association and the alumni organizations of the Marching Ballerinas and the Southerners. She attends the First Baptist Church of Piedmont.

Mrs. Rogers' hobbies include painting, writing, decorating, and working with children through tutoring.

Other awards include the second runner-up in the Ms. Senior Calhoun County in 2001 and 2003. She was in the top ten in the Mrs. America Alabama and Mrs. Universe. She once was awarded the Field Service Award, the Americanism Award and the American Legion Auxiliary Children and Youth Award.

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