Students, seniors return to the dance floor for Valentine’s Day

Feb 15, 2023

After two quiet winters, seniors returned to the dance floor at the Maria Connor Center for Active Living for some Valentines Day fun. 

The annual dance is hosted by students from Dartmouth High School’s National Honor Society, who not only oversee the popular event, but also join the seniors to socialize and get down to classic hits like “Uptown Girl” and “Hound Dog.”

The last time this event took place was Valentine's Day 2020.

Things picked up where they left off three years ago, with a sold-out crowd of 100 seniors and dozens of high school seniors dancing the afternoon away.

“We actually had to turn some people away,” said Nancy Miller, the Council on Aging’s activities coordinator.

Claudette Cote said the return of the dance will definitely go down as one of her highlights of this year. 

The Dartmouth resident, who currently uses a walker due to neuropathy, noted that she used to dance three nights a week — so it was nice to be in that rhythm again.

“I still try to keep moving,” Cote said with a smile.

Nancy Jordan, a regular at any Council on Aging shindig, was also happy to be back on the dance floor for the holiday.

She also handed out some custom-made Valentine’s cards to the students.

“It’s never an easy day for some people,” Jordan said. “So it’s nice to give a little something to others.”

That connection between generations, Cote said, was also very appreciated.

“They’re just so good,” Cote said.

That feeling was mutual, said Dartmouth High Honor Society co-president Ana Oliveira.

“Coming out of Covid, we didn’t really get to chat with our elders,” she said. “We’re so happy to be here.”

There was also a lot to learn from the two groups of seniors.

Phoenix Campbell, who was Jordan’s dance partner for a few songs, noted that members of the Honor Society did learn some ballroom dancing during their free periods the week prior, but there were still some things that had to be learned on the spot, such as perfecting “the Twist.” 

Dancers, such as Jordan, also helped Campbell refine his foxtrot a bit during the slower songs.

 “I knew when I saw her coming in that she’s going to show me what’s what,” he said with a laugh.