Seniors, students share the dance floor on Valentine’s Day

Feb 14, 2019

A chance encounter between Paul Zbornak and Pauline Powers in the rice aisle of the New Bedford Market Basket turned into a blossoming relationship that’s still growing strong after eight years.

“Her blonde hair caught my attention,” Zbornak said.

The couple were among dozens of seniors out celebrating Feb. 14 at the Dartmouth Senior Center’s annual Valentine’s Day dance.

In between dancing to classics from their childhood and enjoying the catered food and sweets, Zbornak shared the secret to falling in love later in life.

“Go to Market Basket,” Zbornak said. “They really do have everything – even girlfriends.”

The couple danced both together, and occasionally swapped dance partners with Dartmouth High School students helping to run the show. The annual dance is a major event put on by the school’s National Honor Society, explained the club’s president and vice president.

“It’s one of the things we do to give back to the community,” said club president Hannah Chamberlain.

The club also hosts a charity volleyball tournament and spring fundraising events. Proceeds from those events are donated to charity. 

National Honor Society members help organize and plan the event, but they stick around to socialize and dance with Dartmouth’s senior population.

Roslyn Dobyna, a Dartmouth High senior, coordinated decorations for the dance, and had a chance to dance with substitute teacher, Nancy Jordan.

“I’ve had a couple classes with her and she’s super sweet,” Dobyna said.

According to Jordan, her dancing gets an “A” too.

“I was just so excited she had a passion for dance,” Jordan said. “When I asked her to a dance, she didn’t hesitate.”

Seniors, too, mingled and met new people, like Julie Barbero and Larry Ferreira.

“We just met, and danced because we’re old timers and we know a lot of the music,” Barbero said.

The music was balanced between classics from as early as the 1940s, to more modern classics enjoyed by seniors and high schoolers alike.