Kirkwood woman celebrates 108th birthday

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KIRKWOOD, Mo. – Family and friends gathered around Opal Otis, also known as “Opie,” to help her feel the love at her 108th birthday bash Wednesday.

They had a walking parade, cake, many colorful balloons and happy birthday signs at the party.

Opie said she was surprised about the party but she loved it.

She is known best for her love for dancing.

Opie grew up in St. Louis City and moved to Kirkwood when she married her husband.

The couple taught a variety of dances like ballroom, foxtrot, swing, and tango for about 40 years until Opal’s husband passed away.

Together, the couple taught in the Kirkwood and a and had a dance team called the Society of the Royal Order of the Egg Beater (SOTROOTE) that traveled on cruise ships around the world.

The dance team was known best for the “The Egg Beater,” a dance where you hold one arm slightly bent over your head and the other arm is moving in a cranking motion while your legs are bent and knees are moving towards and away from each other.

Stephan Otis, Opie’s son says SOTROOTE made the cruise ships fun with The Egg Beater dance.

“Whenever they would go on the ships and do exhibition dancing, they would all do The Egg Beater and everybody would go, ‘What is that?’ and they would say, ‘Well you can come be a member of the Egg Beater Society if you come out and do it with us.”

Opie’s family loves to talk about how much fun she has brought over the years with her vibrant personality.

Opie says her secret to living so long is dancing.

“You gotta keep moving, that’s the answer,” Opie said.

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