Babushka bash! ‘Grandmother’ talent show wows in Brighton

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Photo gallery

Celebrating 15 years!: The crowd honors Raisa Chernina for hosting the pageant for the last 15 years.
She’s a queen!: Roza Mordukhaeva won the 75-years-and-older Queen Grandmother award.
Crowned: Faina Konusova won the Grandma award in the 75-years-and-below age group.
Star grandma: One of the contestants performs on stage.
Family traditions: The Tovushi Dance Club performed during the pageant.
Family fun: Galina Basova won the Family Award for her “Gypsy-style” dance with her daughter Natalia Gramotina at the annual Your Highness Grandmother pageant.

There’s many a good tune played by an old fiddler.

A dozen lovely old ladies took the stage at the National Restaurant in Brighton Beach on Oct. 16 to show off their young and vibrant hearts during the 15th annual “Your Highness Grandmother Pageant” — where grannies of all ages sing and dance for a chance to take home a crown. One 70-year-old matron won the “Family Award” out of all 75-years-old-and-younger contestants for a gypsy-like dance she performed with her daughter — but getting the opportunity to have fun with family was more rewarding than the crown itself, she said.

“I danced with my daughter — big fun. Happy, happy, happy,” said Galina Basova from Sheepshead Bay.

And Basova’s daughter said she was proud of her mother but was happy to watch all of the performers having a great time.

“Everybody got some prizes, this contest is great because everybody got some awards,” said proud progeny Natalia Gramotina, who lives in Brighton Beach. “It’s a great idea, because everybody’s happy at the end.”

The crowd also took time to give a round of applause to the host for 15 years — the the Be Proud Foundation and director Raisa Chernina, said Gramotina.

“For our community, it’s a great event, and also Raisa has done this event for 15 years,” she said. “This is also a great achievement — it’s difficult to organize every year for 15 years in a row.”

The humble Chernina was proud the pageant sold out and attracted a rambunctious multi-generational crowd, but the best thing to celebrate is friendship and family, she said.

“It does not matter who won, everybody won. It’s not the contest itself, it’s atmosphere, it’s friendship. It’s really great family, what is most important” said Chernina.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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