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Seniors, teens twist at 50s-style prom

LAKEWOOD RANCH — Chubby Checker was singing and the crowd was shakin’ to The Twist, his dance hit that brought the 1950s to a close.

It was a trip down memory lane for some, but there were also plenty of dancers who had never heard of the musical icon before.

Different generations celebrated together Sunday at Our Lady of the Angels Church as part of a “Senior Prom” sponsored by the youth group for those 50 and older.

“It’s fun,” said Emily Mingote, 14, a member of the Lakewood Ranch church’s youth group, which planned the party as a gesture of appreciation.

“It’s a tribute to us older dudes,” laughed Chris Treston, 68, of Lakewood Ranch, a retiree dressed to kill in a cream jacket and pink tie.

Female dancers wore big circle skirts and dallied with Hoola Hoops. The men leaned toward the “Elvis Presley” look.

“Children can share our seniors’ memories of high school,” explained Maureen Flaherty, director of the youth ministry at the Catholic church, 12905 State Road 70 E.

“It creates a bond of two groups that usually aren’t able to hang out with each other. We just wanted to shine God’s love to other people, and this is a fun way to do it.”

Of course the food also reflected the tastes of the 1950s: moon pies and Coke.

The half-dozen nimble elders that took to the dance floor showed the youngsters how to do The Twist with ease.

The evening brought back memories for Tony and Dana Bruno, both 69, of Riverview, who were high school sweethearts at Lindenhurst High School on Long Island, N.Y., said Tony Bruno.

“We like 50s music anyway,” he said.

Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at (941) 745-7031.

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