|Dance the night away
Varnell Hopkins III Arlington resident Hamilton Alexander shows Psychology junior Mika
Lanier a dance step during EX-CEL's "Senior Prom" on Wednesday.
|EX-CEL sponsors senior citizens' prom to
by Sally Claunch
Special to The Shorthorn
Kris Fitz, Director of Campus and Community Services for EX-CEL, explained why the
yellow powder was all over the floor at the Hugh Smith Senior Recreation Center.
"It's cornmeal, and they step on it before they dance so their shoes are slick,"
she said. "It makes it easier for them to dance." EX-CEL played host to the
Senior Citizen Prom last night in conjunction with the center. Seniors and students of all
ages came out together to dance the night away Wednesday. From 7 to 9:30 p.m., university
students and the seniors danced to oldies and country western music. "We figured
|seniors is a group the we don't normally target," she said. "We
wanted to do something to involve them." Fitz said she was pleased with the turn out,
and she also said Wednesday is the center's planned activities night. Undecided sophomore
David Saputra is a member of EX-CEL and serves on the Campus and Community Services
committee. He said that the senior prom was a new idea for EX-CEL, and that the club had
not done a senior dance before. He said he thought it was a great way to get involved.
"Giving back to the community -- that's what Campus and Community Service is,"
he said. Disc jockey and EX-CEL member Pamela Pierce, a sophomore media arts major,
volunteered to play music for the event. She played country western, oldies, swing and
old-fashioned ballroom music. Senior citizen Vina Castro, psychology/theatre arts
sophomore Mika Lanier and communications junior Debbie Compier all queued up on the floor
to do a line dance. Castro knew a new version of a line dance called the "electric
slide" that she had learned in the dance classes at the center. She showed the
students how to do it and they followed along to the song "Boot Scoot Boogie".
Lanier said when EX-CEL invited all the student organizations, including her sorority,
Delta Delta Delta, to come out and join in the fun, she really wanted to go. "Is this
just the most precious thing you could do?" she said. Lanier said she has been taking
dance lessons at the university from Blake Elder and was ready to dance. Jean Landham, a
senior citizen and a member of the center, said they have dance classes every Wednesday,
which she attends. "That's why I came; I come to all the dances," she said. Many
of the seniors at the dance attend the classes, said Ruth Henry, a member of the center.
She also attends the classes and said she wouldn't miss it. "I thought it would be
nice, and we just love to dance," she said. Melba and Earl Vandiver love to dance so
much that they go dancing four times a week. "Actually, this is our fifth time this
week," Melba Vandiver said with a giggle. Her husband said, "I like to ballroom
dance, but she likes to two-step." She smiled and shook her head, saying, "I
like to swing." He grinned and said, "Yeah, she's a swinger." The Vandivers
had their 54th wedding anniversary last week. The EX-CEL members had decorated the center
with red and white streamers, balloons and paper hearts for the prom. Saputra said they
thought a Valentine's theme would be fun because it is so close to the holiday. EX-CEL
also had snacks, punch and a Valentine's cake.