North Surry seniors learn music crosses generations

David Broyles

May 30, 2014

North Surry Seniors have learned firsthand how music transcends age as they prepare to stage a prom for seniors at Ridgecrest tonight.

According to advisor Daron Atkins, the prom will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. . No admission will be charged and the dance is open to the public.

“They (the senior class sponsors) are open-minded. Our senior council is so wonderful. This group has gelled more than any other group of class officers I’ve had. They work well together and it’s good to see kids working together.”

Atkins said he requires the group to perform one service project but he doesn’t suggest a direction for them to take which is one of the hardest things to do as a advisor. “Know when to just let them go.”

Atkins explained shortly after the group decided on holding the prom, it became evident discussing musical selection they had to seek musical common ground. Senior Class President Carlos Flores said he wished the group had longer than the two weeks of dance practices with instructors Carolyn and Bill Bryant and he hopes “the house is packed.” The Bryants also brought in former students to help teach the students a waltz and the box step so they have dances in common with their prospective prom participants.

“In December we did a cards for soldiers project and we decided to take on a more ambitious project,” said Flores. “We decided to go all out with actual music seniors would be familiar with and we expect more than 50 persons to attend. I hope it turns into an annual event where the senior class hosts a prom night.”

Atkins said what has most surprised him is how eager high school guys in the group have been to learn the dances. He said normally they are the last group to appear excited about dancing and are “having a blast.”

“They started out with an hour-and-a-half class two weeks ago on this and this week they decided to spend two hours getting the technique down,” said Atkins. “I was dancing with one of the students on the first night of practice and she remarked how she liked the song and had never heard it before. It was the Tennessee Waltz.”

Atkins said he told students many contemporary songs are in quarter time or three-quarter time just like the older music they are using in practice. Instructor Bill Bryant said he has enjoyed interacting with the younger pupils and has been amazed how fast they pick up the routines.

Atkins said the group is sincere in its effort to make it a true senior prom for their guests, with decorating and light refreshments being offered and dressing up formally for the dance.

“The coolest thing is how they are making a connection with those not in their age group,” Atkins said. “I’ve seen through this (that) dance can cross age boundaries. I promise you the dance cards will be full on Friday night.”

David Broyles may be reached at 336-719-1952 or on twitter@MtAiryNewsDave.