This past Friday, I had the opportunity to perform with West Virginia University’s Swing Dance Club at the Preston Community Arts Center. Since I grew up in Preston County, I was thrilled to be able to give back to the community, and see faces that I haven’t seen in awhile.
I hadn’t yet been to the Preston Community Arts Center because it used to be a hardware store when I was growing up. The area inside was beautiful, and there were various types of art on display. The walls were covered in detailed handmade quilts. According to their Facebook Page, the goal of the Preston Community Arts Center is to showcase, promote, and teach the arts related to the well-being of the Preston community through events, activities, classes, retail outlet, exhibitions, and a gallery.
This event was to honor five local WWII Veterans: Charlie Brown, Dick Hoban, Ed Runner, Bud Wilson, and Foster Huffman. Their stories were shared throughout the evening, and family members were encouraged to speak as well. As part of the WVU Swing Dance Club, we performed three choreographed dances as well as a spotlight social dance. The first dance was one to ‘Rosie the Riveter,’ and I had just learned the dance the evening before. ‘The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea’ was the second dance, and it was followed by a club favorite, ‘The Jive.’
It was a wonderful opportunity to support the Preston County Community and to learn from our elders.
Part of our performance can be seen in the video below: