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Senior proms increase in popularity

March 7, 2014

Follow in the footsteps of seniors from around the country and break out those blue suede shoes. Senior citizen proms have gained in popularity within the last few years as groups from around the community create magical experiences for older citizens.

High school seniors serve senior citizens
In addition to planning their own high school proms, students have begun to arrange for events that cater specifically to older adults. A growing number of these institutions are holding senior proms, allowing seniors to attend in their best formal attire, converse with their friends and dance the night away.

The New Milford Patch reported that New Jersey-based New Milford High School recently held its sixth annual Senior Citizen Prom. According to the news source, hundreds of attendees came to celebrate, including more than 160 seniors and a host of corporate sponsors. Merchants included Dairy Queen, Maggiano's and the AARP, all of which donated door prizes and helped to fund the event. Students take great pride in planning the prom, from determining the perfect theme to dancing with seniors, according to Jane Swarctz, a music teacher at the school.

"The very first year we crowned the king and queen, the queen was wheelchair bound," Swarctz told the source. "When it was announced that she won, two boys from the Tri-M wheeled her onto the dance floor and danced with her - one holding her hands and the other swaying the wheel chair as the Choral Ensemble sang. Our newly crowned queen was gleaming and there was not a dry eye in the room."

Students in the Hempfield Area School District in Pennsylvania also had a great time celebrating with older adults in the community. In 2013, nearly 350 seniors - ranging from 65 to 102 years old - attended the prom, according to Trib Live. Elexis Anderson, a 17-year-old junior, told the source that she has enjoyed being a part of the prom for the past two years.

"It's really nice to do something for them and they really seem to enjoy it," Anderson said. "I had a lot of fun helping out. I just thought it would be a good experience."

Older adults reminisce about the golden days
Not only do these proms allow for perfect opportunities for attendees to engage in a great deal of exercise - which contributes to a healthy lifestyle for seniors - but they also let older adults revel in nostalgia. According to NBC News, the Hillhouse High School class of 1943 recently held their prom - 70 years late. While the group was delayed by the beginning of World War II, they found plenty of time to celebrate and enjoy each other's company.