A few music notes in, the dancers were off to the lively tunes of the big-band era.
There were none of the nerves or jitters that come with asking a date to dance. There was no hesitation about who would hit the dance floor first.
This dance was for a crowd of people in their 60s, 70s and 80s. They dressed to the nines for a “senior” prom at Cambridge Village of Apex on Friday night.
The senior-living center hosted the prom and sold tickets as a way to help raise money for the Arthritis Foundation.
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Some who attended the prom might know the effects of arthritis all too well – painful joints and inflammation. More than 50 million Americans, or one in five adults, are affected by the pain of arthritis, according to the foundation.
But on Friday, the seniors put on their dancing shoes and twirled around the floor as the trumpets and saxophones blared.
Marian Lucas, 69 of Apex barely left the dance floor during the first hour.
“I think this is great,” she said. “Hardly anything like this happens in Apex. Usually you have to go to Raleigh. It’s good for the residents and the community.
“It draws attention to arthritis,” she continued. “We all have arthritis. It’s a given as you get older.”
For Jean Evans, 79, who lives at Cambridge Village, the prom was an excuse to dust off her professional dancing skills.
“I’ve been dancing since I was 3 years old,” she said. “I dance everywhere I go.”
At the end of the night, the tally was in: Cambridge Village and the community shimmied and shagged their way to $500 in donations for the Arthritis Foundation.