“Oldies But Goodies Dance” transports attendees back to the 1950’s

On Saturday, the Mansfield Senior Center Association transported partygoers back to the 50s with their “Oldies But Goodies Dance.” The vintage 50s theme of the dance had people dancing all night long to classic songs from the 1950s and 60s. For the weeks leading up to the event, the center provided dance lessons to refresh attendees’ memories on how to do the popular dances from the 50s and 60s.The “music spinner” for the event, Emile Poirier hosted several contests throughout the night, including a hula hoop contest, a dance contest, and a costume contest. While a majority of attendees were members of the Mansfield Senior Center, all ages were welcome at the dance.  

The event was hosted by the Mansfield Senior Center Association. The Mansfield Senior Center Association provides “advocacy, fund development and volunteer identification” for the Mansfield Senior Center, according to the association's President Maire Hakmiller.

“We operate kind of like the PTA did for your school, or friends of the library,” stated Hakmiller. “The “Oldies But Goodies Dance” was their first fundraising effort, with all proceeds going toward support programs at the center.

“It gives them a chance to go out and be with people rather than be stuck in the house,” said Beverly Gotch, a member of the Mansfield Senior Center. “There’s a lot of people who don’t have family, they’re on their own. It’s a place for them to come.” The event managed to draw a crowd of around 60 people, allowing them to approach their fundraising goal.

The “Oldies But Goodies Dance” stayed true to its 1950s theme. The event hall was wonderfully decorated with pink and black balloons, vintage bowling pins, posters and records that hung from the ceiling. There was a large dance floor where attendees danced to their favorite 50s hits. Of those in attendance, many chose to show off their vintage style. Women wore bright pink poodle skirts, jackets, saddle shoes and vintage scarves. Several of the men chose to roll packs of candy cigarettes in their shirt sleeves, reminiscent of 1950s “greasers”.

A 50’s themed soda bar was definitely a highlight of the event, serving up delicious root beer floats and vintage colas. There were plenty of vintage snacks available, like sliders, pigs in a blanket, pretzels and freshly popped popcorn. “That’s what the 50s were about, the 60s too. You had the ice cream floats, and hamburgers and stuff, it was a part of it” said Carol Olsen.

The vintage theme teleported those in attendance to the 1950s, bringing many of them back to their youth. “We were laughing last night as we were setting things up, every time he’d play a song we’d think ‘Oh my God, does that bring back a memory’” said Beverly Gotch.

“I graduated from high school in ‘54, so I was in high school in the 50s… It was a different time. You see the pictures of the convertibles and the girls on the back seats, I’ve got those pictures at home.” said Gotch. Beverly Pepin, who was looking forward to getting to the dance floor, shared a similar sentiment. “This is our era” stated Pepin.

The “Oldies but Goodies Dance” was filled with fun and friends, making it a night to remember for all in attendance. “We’re a crazy bunch of people, we enjoy ourselves. There’s advantages to being older,” said Beverly Gotch.


Lauren Brown is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at lauren.brown@uconn.edu.