Union High Seniors Give Senior Living Center A Special Prom Night
TULSA, Oklahoma - A group of senior citizens here in Tulsa are proving you're never too old to spin around on the dance floor.
For two decades now, area high school students have been helping put on a Senior Prom at Woodland Terrace Independent Living Center.
Students from Union High School’s Leadership class were there to help pass out food and drinks and even dance along to the music. Organizers say the event is helping bridge the gap between generations.
“Several of them came up to me and asked if I could dance,” said Mary Jean Browne. “I said, I don’t know how, they said that doesn’t matter, we'll show you!”
Whether they're dancing along to sounds of their past, or tapping their feet to beat of the music, some residents say this is the highlight of their year.
“It’s wonderful for you youngsters to take time to fool with us old people,” said Ben Saler.
Barney and Melba Mecom even walked away as the center’s prom king and queen.
“It’s just so refreshing to take a break from our busy schedules and just give back to the community and give back to these amazing people that deserve to have a party every night,” said Union Senior, Logan Vowels.
The class has about 20 students, from sophomores all the way to seniors, so some of the students have been back several years in a row.
“The kids get to come back year after year so they really start to develop a bond with some of our residents,” said Woodland Terrace Program Director, Katie Xiong.
One resident says she couldn't wait for this night to come, she's even been carrying around a photo of her dance partner from last year.
“She kept telling me ‘I am going to dance with him again’ and he showed up tonight, and she was like look I have my picture,” said Xiong.
“I had such a wonderful time with this man and I wanted to find him and dance with him once more,” said Jean Keller.
Union Senior, Grant Bateman, says this is his second time at Senior Prom and he was so surprised that Jean held onto this photo for so long.
“I met a lot of great people last year, but I didn't know any of them would still remember me,” said Bateman.
“He’s not only tall and good looking, but he’s polite, a gentleman and a good dancer,” said Keller.
Not only is this night giving seniors the chance to re-live their glory days on the dance floor, but it's also bridging the gap between high school seniors and senior citizens.
“It makes them re-live a lot of their memories and think about their prom and their dances that they went to, so it really just helps bring back a lot of happy memories,” said Xiong.
Because even a simple conversation about school or even the latest dance moves can go a long way.
“They ask about everything from school, to where I am going to college and they even ask me where I have traveled,” said Vowels. “They were just so eager to talk to us and just have great conversations.”
“It gives them new opportunities to have conversations and talk about things that they wouldn’t normally talk about here and then also it makes them feel like they still have a sense of purpose,” said Xiong.
Giving both students and seniors new memories that they will treasure for the rest of their lives.
“At my age, I feel like what young person would even be interested and it's showing me they do care,” said Browne.
“That’s what makes us young again,” said Saler.