La Verne community gathers for Halloween dance

Emily Lau
Editor in Chief

Cowboys, skeletons and pirates danced the night away to live music and entertainment at the Halloween Hop Dance for the Special Needs Population Friday night at the La Verne Community Center.

Tickets were sold before the event for $5 and at the door for $7.

The Halloween dance is geared toward older people, but anyone over 12 years old is invited to enjoy the party.

“The dance gives them an opportunity to enjoy music and entertainment with people of similar demographics because there’s nowhere in the area that does dances like this,” said Yvonne Duran, supervisor at the La Verne Community Center.

Duran has worked at the community center for three years, and she said this is the most preregistered participants for a dance ever, with 113 expected.

“It has definitely grown and has always received positive feedback from participants,” Duran said. “A lot of people, even today, have thanked us because their child doesn’t have an opportunity to hang out with friends at night.”

Participants danced to peppy tunes played by a DJ in the main hall, which was adorned with Halloween decor. Some attendees dressed as popular characters such as Elsa from “Frozen” and Batman while others went with generic costumes such as chefs and dinosaurs.

A photo booth outside the main hall invited people to take a commemorative photo in front of a Halloween-themed backdrop. Max Villareal has been the community center’s event coordinator for more than 12 years. He said the dance saw a decrease in participants for a while, but promoting on social media has helped attendance.

“We have people from Baldwin Park, La Puente, all of the surrounding cities really,” Villareal said.

Danielle Ferdman, a senior at Montclair High School, has been volunteering at the La Verne Community Center for three years.

“These events help the community come together as one,” Ferdman said. “It’s for disabled older adults, and they come together and have a good time. They feel a little more accepted by the community.”

The La Verne Community Center hosts three similar dances throughout the year. The next dance, Sweetheart Dance for Persons with Special Needs, is Feb. 10, 2017. Tickets cost $5 for presale at the community center and $7 at the door.

Emily Lau can be reached at emily.lau@laverne.edu.

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