Thursday, February 20, 2014

Hearts and Memories

The dance floor was full all night long
Ever go to a party and come home saying, "that was the best time I've had in a very long time!"?  Well, Saturday night was one of those nights.

The Whittier Stake hosted a Valentine's Dance, titled "Heart and Memories" and, judging by how many people attended and how full the dance floor was, it was a complete success.

By the way, a "Stake" is made up of several congregations, or wards.  It is similar to a Diocese.  Whittier Stake covers the entire city of Whittier, California.

The idea for the dance came from our Stake President, President Powell.  He remembered the dances the Stake used to put on years ago.  He had fond memories of those dances and asked himself why they didn't do that anymore?

Amy McKeon put together the lovely decorations
So, President Powell spearheaded a movement to host an adult dance for Valentine's Day - one that could be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of whether or not they could dance.

He succeeded very well.

The Singles' Ward performed an energetic swing dance number
Putting together a program that would include everyone over the age of 18 wasn't too difficult.  It included starting the evening with a DJ playing 1940s dance music for the older folks, then revving things up with an outstanding live band, The Imposters, who performed hits from the 50s, 60s and 70s.  They played everything from the Beatles, to Chuck Berry, to Santana.

They were great!

The Singles' Ward swing dancers were fun to watch
Interspersed with the dance numbers throughout the evening were musical numbers of all kinds.  It was highly entertaining and a great deal of fun.

The Mar Vista Singles' Ward evidently has many members who go Swing dancing on a regular basis.  Their contribution to the evening was a lively Swing dance number.  Those kids could really rock!

Mary Beth and Bishop Dan
We had a great turn-out from our Ward.  I attended together with several older singles.  Once there, we hooked up with others from our ward.  We had a lively table, and the menfolk generously danced with all the single ladies there.

We had so much fun!

Evangeline and Deonne
We saw lots of folks there that I haven't seen in a very long time.  Mercy and Bob came from Chino.  They used to live in the Stake and knew many people there.

The Garcias and Mary Beth
The nice thing about the evening was how everyone let loose and danced and laughed and really enjoyed themselves.  That's a rare thing, I think.  Just seeing the dance floor continually filled was really fun.

Randy and Bishop Patrick
I was told that Amy's crew had set up chairs and tables to seat 220 people.  These were all filled.  At one point in the evening, Evangeline and I agreed there had to be at least 400 people attending!

Jerry and Ellen
As the band played oldies, Jerry played air piano and we sang along doing hand jives.  I laughed a lot!

The Harmonics
A singing group from from the Santa Gertrudes Ward called the Harmonics performed several numbers, including a few hits by the Temptations.  They ended with a heartfelt rendition of "You Are So Beautiful", appropriately dedicated to all the ladies attending.  They were really good!

I only wished I'd been able to take better photos of the event.  I was severely limited by the low light conditions and my lack of good photographic equipment.  I've fixed a few of the photos in Photoshop, but there is a limit!  

Evangeline cuts a rug with her handsome grandson, Christopher
Another really fun aspect of the evening was that it crossed over all age groups.  We had the 18 yr-old kids there from the Singles' Ward - and the gray-haired oldsters - and everyone in between.  It really was fun to see.

The Salsa Performers
At one point in the evening, we were treated to a Salsa dance exhibition.  This couple was good, too!  I believe they were from the La Esperanza Ward, but I may be wrong.  They had the moves, though.  I felt like I was watching a professional dance team.

Doing the Salsa
There was also a fun Hip-Hop performance by the young people from the Rio Hondo Ward.  They lent some humor, and gymnastic ability to the evening with their dance number.

Rio Hondo Ward performing their Hip-Hop number
 The Hop-Hop group had some imaginative choreography, which played to the strengths of the group.

Rio Hondo strutting their stuff
Refreshment tables, set up in the patio just off the cultural hall, had all kinds of finger foods - raw veggies, huge bowls of fruit, chips and dips, brownies, cookies and bite-size cheesecakes were some of the things I saw there.  I found some cream puffs filled with ice cream that were really yummy.  There was also a fruit punch and ice water for those who got dehydrated from all that dancing.

What a fun night!  I actually danced - more than once!  I mean, who can hear Wooly Bully performed and not get up and shake a leg!

I repeat, I can't remember the last time I had such a good time.  

Thanks, President Powell.  Ya done good.

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