Dancer remembers "The Hot Flashes"

2014-05-11T00:00:00Z 2014-06-23T10:15:17Z Dancer remembers "The Hot Flashes"By Johanna Willett Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Leona Claire Fuller kept journals from her days of dancing with the senior tap troupe The Hot Flashes.

For years, the pages telling stories of embarrassments, laughter and backstage antics sat in Fuller’s home, gathering dust. She had glued fliers and copied quotes from newspaper articles into the journal.

Now, she shares those same memories in her book “The Hot Flashes: Sensational, Award Winning Senior Tap Dancing Troupe” published earlier this year.

This weekend, Fuller is signing book copies and reuniting with the dancers she bonded with during her 11 years in the troupe.

“I would read a page and laugh because I would say, ‘Oh my gosh, we did that?’” Fuller said during a phone interview from her home in Salem, Ore. “Then there were times I had tears in my eyes because it was no more.”

Founded in 1991 by Jean Johnson, The Hot Flashes performed around Tucson and the country and appeared in commercials and on the Jerry Lewis telethon. It disbanded in 2004 due to Johnson’s terminal illness.

Fuller’s book waltzes through the troupe’s history and includes her own experiences.

“They used to tell me to write the book,” Fuller said. “I would say, ‘I don’t have time. I gotta dance.’”

Fuller, 80, still dances with a group in Salem, but these performances have more singing and acting.

“It’s not The Hot Flashes, and it never will be,” she said.

Contact reporter Johanna Willett at or 573-4357.

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