The Dance Palace Is a Night of Joyful Nostalgia for the Elderly

You’re never too old to swing dance

Apr 22, 2019

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Though they may be over 60-years-old, these Dutch elderly folks are still young at heart. And because of the Dutch initiative The Dance Palace, they can remember and transport back to their youth while dancing the night away.  

When DJ Suna had the opportunity to play the music for a friend’s mother’s 75th birthday, she thought about what her audience, which would consist of mostly older generations, would want to hear most. Immediately, she thought to play music from the guest of honor’s childhood and younger years to share with them a few hours of incredible nostalgia. As soon as she spun the first record, she witnessed something amazing.

The guests excitedly jumped out of their seats and ran straight towards the dance floor. When other, younger, party-goers saw how much fun the elderly were having, everyone joined in, making for an unforgettable night. That evening inspired Suna; she wanted other elderly people to have the same joyful night so she dreamt up the Dance Palace, a disco for the elderly.

From the dance hall decor to the staff uniforms to the upbeat music, she made sure that the evening perfectly resembles the forties and fifties. The costumed-volunteers escort the guests into the venue and head into the dance hall for two hours of snacks and dancing. Whether it’s jazz or rock, ballads, or the twist, the oldies hits bring a smile to everyone’s faces.

During the second hour of the fête, one of the volunteers makes their way from guest to guest, taking song requests so they can hear their favorite music. And whether it’s the birthday guest, the oldest person in the room, or the attendee shining the brightest, volunteers make sure to give them special attention during the party. Visitors can even write their names and contact information down so volunteers can let them know when the next Dance Palace will be held. And as the night comes to a close, they leave, anticipating the next time they can swing along to Frank Sinatra.

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REBECCA WOJNO, CONTRIBUTOR
Rebecca is passionate about reading, cooking, and learning about people doing good in the world. She especially loves writing about wellness, personal growth, and relationships.