“Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.” Kurt Vonnegut
Where do preconceived notions come from? I recently started thinking about the plethora of ballrooms and big band dances of the 1930s, 40s and 50s. I thought of generations of couples spending their Saturday nights jitterbugging, doing swing, forming line dances… My own parents met at the Tromar Ballroom in Des Moines. I wouldn’t even be here without a dancing couple who met for the first time on a cold January night in Iowa! It seemed like that was all gone.
I was so wrong.
When I saw the poster for the Senior Prom at Vancouver’s Luepke Center, I thought, “That is so nice. Once a year, our older generation can relive the past.”
Once a year? Hah! Some of the participants graciously set me straight.
Dance lives at Luepke Center. There are monthly Sunday afternoon dances with live music. That’s just the start. Evening dances are held, too. And, my informants pointed out, there are more dances on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10:15 am. No wonder there is a permanent disco ball hung at Luepke Center. On top of that, there are afternoon dances at Firstenburg Community Center. I’m exhausted thinking about it. When do these people rest?!
So back to the Senior Prom. Forget the stretch limos and prom court. This event was about the dancing. “There are a lot of people who didn’t get to go to their senior prom,” Barbara told me. “This means a lot. We have a lot of fun.”
The evening began with local celebrity hosts serving dinner fixed by Clark County Skill Center youth. Corsages were distributed. Prom photos were taken.
And then, do not get in the way, the music started…
The tuxes and formal dresses may be put away until next year’s prom, but not the dancing shoes. This generation won’t be hanging them up soon.
July 15, 2011 No Comments