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Monday, June 14, 2010

Seniors Night On The Town - Event Photography

It was an absolute joy and blessing to be a part of Karleen Schmidt's Seniors Night On The Town. As I hid behind my camera lens, I was able to watch people as they interacted with their friends, laughed at jokes, tasted great food, and my favorite part of the night - danced to their hearts content.

I was brought to tears several times while watching the special era of people, the senior citizens, enjoy a night specifically designed for them. To honor them. To honor their era. To give them a taste of what they used to enjoy so much. It is really amazing to me to watch these people dance. They are so good at it. They move so well and in sync with each other. It makes the 'dancing' of today look like swaying in place, looking like a goon, or worse. Something I don't want to talk about on a G-rated blog.

I watched these couples, many of whom have probably been married for decades upon decades, and I thought to myself, how many times have they held hands and danced like this? Are they remembering back to their wedding day when they danced just like this? Or maybe back to the days of their courtship, when they most likely frequented dance halls and tore up the dance floor in the classy way they did in the 1930's and 40's. These people have so much history and wisdom. So much grace, it chokes me up to even write about it.

I was telling my parents about the night and about how touching it was to me. Yet at the same time, I was explaining why it's sad to me, to experience something like that too. It's sad, because those traditions of classy dancing haven't continued. There aren't places for that generation to go and dance like they used to; which was a motivating factor for Karleen to put on such an amazing event. As my dad said, those traditions aren't going to continue beyond their era. Once these people are gone, it seems like the traditions of that era will be gone too. That makes me so, so sad.

So, for the night, I let myself watch, smile, giggle and even cry at the sight of these amazing people, enjoying a night dedicated to them. To the people who lived through the Great Depression. To the people that survived a World War and the many wars that have since followed. To the people that saw the explosion of technology and the huge changes that this world has gone through in the last 50+ years. To a generation that deserves recognition, love, and support from all of us who have come after them. To a generation who's ways are being trampled on and shoved aside by the Internet, reality TV, iPods, cell phones, email, club-style dancing, and modern music.

This night was for them.

Thanks for reading. Add in a special prayer today for those seniors in your life; that they feel the love and respect that they so greatly deserve.

Enjoy the ride,



  1. lovin' these photos laura!!! I completely agree with you about such a fantastic era and it's all going to be lost! I wish dancing (swing, waltz etc.) was still taught and still considered part of our culture. I would love to go out on a friday night to a cute dinner and dancing place with live music! How fun would that be!?

  2. These are awesome! Karleen created such an amazing event. Love the details. Your pics are the icing on the cake :)
    Wonder Women, UNITE!

  3. Becky - Karleen is the best event planner EVER!

    Sara - I SO agree. I wish we could have experiences like that. While many people in our generation would find that lame, boring or stupid, I think there are some of us that are craving tradition like that.

  4. You are gifted. What a joy to be part of this event. Capture it, keep it, preserve it. Maybe, the traditions won't die, maybe they'll take on new life.

  5. How I love to dance and wish I knew the classy steps! I can see the joy in your photos.

  6. I thought this was the cutest event. I got chills reading this post! I appreciate previous eras (sp?) so much! I especially make sure to treasure my own Grandparents and the eras they are from. The other day my Grandpa called me to thank me for a father's day card I sent him. He was so excited and was really excited about the picture I put in the card of my sister and I from Vegas. My grandma said they were going to go get a frame as I was talking to them! He also started talking about how excited he was to see me in July. I just broke down in to tears right in the middle of a crowded shopping mall. Couldn't stop. It is so important to take the time to talk to people from these previous eras even if they are your own family. I will be sending both my grandparents greeting cards more often.
    Great post Laura!

  7. Oh Erica, I have tears in my eyes from your comment! Thanks for reading and THANKS FOR SHARING! I'm going to call my grandparents right now. :)

  8. oh laura, these pictures are so precious!! older people are so stinkin cute!

  9. Oh, this put a HUGE smile on my face. LIKE BUTTON.


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