Dancing Grannies parade survivor 'saw half our grannies down'

The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies lost four of their members during the Waukesha parade tragedy. In her first and only local TV interview, one of the dancers who was there that day recalls the heartbreak of seeing her friends fall all around her.

Four out of the six people who died in Waukesha's parade were members of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies. While the community has remembered all of them through candles and flowers, the grannies say this Saturday, Dec. 4, their members will be honored in their favorite activity – a parade.

If you ask Sharon Millard how many parades she’s been in since she joined the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies six years ago, she doesn’t miss a beat.

"Every one of them," said Millard.

The organization has brought her joy and unshakable bonds:

"We are all sisters," said Millard. "We treat each other like sisters and like family."

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But after the horrific events of Nov. 21, there’s one parade she wishes she could forget.

"I knew it wasn’t an accident," said Millard. "Out of my left, I saw the vehicle, and I didn’t see Lee. Then I saw Ginny get hit, and I fell apart.  I really fell apart."

During a routine set to "Winter Wonderland," Millard lost four close friends, best known to her as "Lee," "Tammy," "Ginny" and "Bill," all killed after police say the driver of an SUV intentionally plowed through Waukesha's Christmas parade.

"The vehicle kept going, and all I could do was scream, ‘Call 911,’" said Millard. "Then I turned around and saw half our grannies down."

On Saturday, Millard will join current and former members of the Dancing Grannies in Franklin’s Christmas parade.  The group only carry a banner with the names of their deceased friends.  It may not be until spring when these ladies dance again.

"There aren’t enough Dancing Grannies left," said Millard.

But when they do, Millard says four souls will be there moving with them.

"Every time I dance, I will think of them," said Millard. "I really will.  I know they will be with us when we dance, in our heart." 

Millard says she had no idea the Dancing Grannies are so loved at local parades. The group participates in about 25 of them a year.

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