Area senior citizens getting ready for prom night

Contact: Jeanne Baron
Photo from WMU Senior Prom.

Senior Prom is Thursday, March 22.

KALAMAZOO--Area senior citizens will be celebrating prom night for the 24th consecutive year when they gather Thursday, March 22, in the Bernhard Center Ballroom on Western Michigan University's main campus in Kalamazoo.

WMU's annual Senior Prom is a fun-filled, nostalgic evening that brings hundreds of senior citizens together with WMU students, faculty and staff for a night of Big Band music and swing and ballroom dancing. Pre-entertainment begins at 5 p.m. and dancing runs from 7 to 10 p.m.

Members of the general public are welcome to attend this semi-formal event. No reservation is necessary. Admission is free, as is parking in the nearby parking ramp--Parking Structure No. 1.

"Everyone Will Be Famous for 15 Minutes" is the slogan for the pop art-themed 2012 Senior Prom. Attendees are invited to dance the night away in a brightly colored space with decorations inspired by Andy Warhol. Music will be provided by the Otsego Jazz Band, and the event will include dance contests, prizes, free refreshments, bingo and photo keepsakes.

The Senior Prom began in 1988 as a way for older WMU alumni and area residents to share an evening of fun and reminisce with current students. It gradually grew in popularity, and last year, attracted some 300 senior citizens and members of the University community.

Students traditionally prepare for the event by teaming up with senior citizen tutors in late February to learn the fox trot, waltz, Lindy and other dance steps popular in the 1940s. The seniors also are able to brief the novice dancers in such areas as hairstyles and fashions of the period.

The Draper-Siedschlag, Ernest Burnham-Smith Burnham and Henry residence halls are organizing the prom with the help of many volunteers. Financial assistance is being provided by such WMU organizations as the Residence Hall Association and Residence Life office.

For more information, contact Candice Kinsey, Draper-Siedschlag Hall assistant director, at or (269) 387-4790.