WINCHESTER, Va. — It was a truly senior prom for residents of Hilltop House's assisted living facility.
The dance, organized by two students from Sherando High School, brought smiles to the faces of many residents and took them back to their school days.
"We picked a '50s theme so they could relate to when they were teenagers," said Lacey Johnson, 17, co-organizer of the event. "A lot of people stereotype nursing homes as a not-fun place to be. That's one reason I wanted to do this."
She and Olivia Scott, 18, members of the school's Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), planned the dance for a project that will be judged at a FCCLA conference in Virginia Beach in April.
Lacey said she was inspired to organize an event that benefited members of Hilltop House after she went there for an event with the National Honor Society (NHS).
"I came here with the NHS a few months ago," she said. "It was the best thing that I've ever done. I just got really attached to them."
Olivia joined Lacey to help make her idea happen.
"She needed a partner, so I just jumped in," Olivia said.
Ashley Robinson, teacher-adviser for Sherando's FCCLA, said she was impressed with the work Lacey and Olivia have done.
"It's great," she said. "Lacey and Olivia have been so into this. They've been planning this for weeks."
Wearing poodle skirts, bow ties and other fashions that fit with the decorations, FCCLA and NHS members danced with residents to music like Chubby Checker's "Let's Twist Again."
"It reminds us of the good old days," said Nancy Thomas, 86.
"I love this, and I don't even dance," said Gerry Green, 94. "Just the whole outfit. The whole place is a good thing."
Green was on her feet and dancing with the high-schoolers for more than a few songs.
And she wasn't the only one enjoying the atmosphere.
"I look at (the other residents) right now, and they look brighter than they do all the time," Green said. "They need something like that. I need something like that."
Emma Jane Holliea, 89, agreed that everyone was benefiting from the excitement.
"I think it's great," she said. "It really gets everyone moving. Even if we're in a chair, we're still moving," she added, tapping her feet to the music.
Information from: The Winchester Star, http://www.winchesterstar.com