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January 21, 2009 > Union City Seniors Show the Way

Union City Seniors Show the Way

By Simon Wong

The Miles J. Price Hall at the Ralph & Mary Ruggieri Senior Center served as both dining room and ballroom on Friday, January 16, 2009.

This month's Special Event was a New Year Luncheon, with a toast to 2009 followed by a dance. As usual, there was a raffle. On this occasion, the Grand Prize was a string of freshwater pearls.

After lunch, David Coffing and the USS Hornet Band, which counts one young lady among its thirteen-members, struck up. Guests took to the dance floor and volunteers looked on admiringly. "This is also nice for the band," said Larry Orozco, Recreation Manager, Ruggieri Senior Center. "Normally David Coffing and the USS Hornet Band come to the Center on the second, third and fourth Wednesday of the month from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. and we don't have a big crowd. Inviting the Band to play at our Special Events which draw many people gives more people the opportunity to dance to their music."

Although the exaggerated moves of an exhibition or competitive dance were not seen, one could tell clearly that the couples knew how to dance. The pleasure derived from having a partner was evident. The "seniors" made it look easy although contact dancing requires discipline, the ability to "lead" and "follow," mutual respect and an awareness of other couples on the dance floor. Seniors learned to dance in an era when people made their own entertainment and gathered to socialize.

Regulars at the Senior Center have a sense of humor, an even better sense of irony combined with boundless energy. Many appear to be participants of a social whirl that would exhaust many others half their age. One Union City lady also attends dances at Lake Elizabeth in Fremont! She lives an active life.

"A group from Lafayette who attended the dance commented on how well things were done and enjoyed themselves thoroughly," concluded Larry Orozco.

For details of the activities and events at the Ralph and Mary Ruggieri Senior Center, which is run by Union City's Leisure Services Department, visit or call (510) 675-5495.

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