Former And Current Old Fort Days Dandies Reflect On Past 40 Years

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- As the Old Fort Days Rodeo wraps up this weekend, the Old Fort Days Dandies are coming together for a reunion, which marks 40 years of performances.

"It was one of the greatest times of my life, one of my fondest memories of high school for sure," Michelle Spinas, former Dandie said. "If I could go back and do it all over again at this age, I certainly would. It was just a great character building experience and it was just so much fun."

As Spinas looks back at old photos, she recalls her years of being a Dandie from 1993 to 1995.

"There's [a photo] I remember fondly," Spinas said. "I was at the rodeo and that was standing water in the mud. We were covered head to toe in mud, but it was one of the best experiences and the most fun that I ever had."

Spinas said while parts of the show and outfits may change, the makeup is still just as glamorous.

"Our makeup had to be full makeup, like stage makeup," Spinas said. "We had dark lipstick and eye-shadow on. Our hair had to be curly."

Now, former and current Dandies are in the same room, to celebrate the legacy many in this area recognize.

"It's cool to me seeing how they dressed, what kind of shirts they wore, different chaps they wore compared to what we wear now, it's really cool," Kristian Black, current Dandie said.

Regardless of when the Dandies performed, they said, "Once a Dandie, always a Dandie."

"A lot has changed," Spinas said. "I don't get to feel and smell the dirt like I used to. I don't get to be a part of it, but it's always my favorite part to sit and watch the routine and watch the girls and make sure their safe and to see what's changed and what's stayed the same."

"I love riding horses," Black said. "I've been riding horses since I was little bitty and to be able to ride horses with the Dandies and be a part of the team together. It's everything I've ever dreamed of."

The reunion featured old photo albums of all 40 years of the Old Fort Days Dandies.

Guests included former Dandies from each decade the team has been performing.