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Castra Deb Ball A Hit

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Castra's Clinical Case Manager Cheryl Parnell and Residential Manager Shelley Lee congratulated staff members Deep and Ranjit Dhillon, centre, on their Last Chance Debutante Ball outfits, which were both genuine 1950s dancing attire

April 17, 2017

Murgon’s Castra retirement complex isn’t usually the first place that springs to mind when talk turns to debutante balls … but that could all be about to change.

Last Thursday, eight couples from Murgon’s Social Dance Group performed the Last Chance Debutante Ball at the complex for an appreciative audience of about 40 residents and staff.

The Ball began when each couple was individually presented to former Murgon Mayor Bill Roberts and current South Burnett Deputy Mayor Kathy Duff.

Participants were all dressed in traditional debutante ball costumes, many wearing elegant dresses and tuxedos that had been worn to similar events years before.

After all the couples had been presented, the dancers swirled around the floor to recorded music, executing traditional ballroom dance numbers with a genuine verve and enthusiasm that made onlookers forgive any missteps.

The Ball was the idea of dance teacher Jenny de Jong, who runs the Murgon Social Dance Group at the South Burnett PCYC with her husband Roy.

Every Thursday, between 1:00pm and 3:00pm, Jenny and Roy teach students traditional dances at a social dance class.

Last June, Jenny asked Castra if they’d like to have the group hold a dance at the retirement complex to see if it would provide entertainment for residents.

Castra agreed, and the dances have become a regular monthly fixture ever since.

Jenny said Castra had been very supportive of the idea from the outset, as evidenced by the many staff members who also dressed up for the Last Chance Debutante Ball.

While most Castra residents are no longer able to dance themselves, dances were a big part of many of their lives and many residents got great enjoyment from watching the dancers perform.

Cr Kathy Duff agreed.

“I remember going to lots of dances when I was growing up,” Cr Duff told the audience when she declared the Debutante Ball open.

“They were a big part of my life and they were always a lot of fun.

“So I understand why these dances have become so popular at Castra, and I congratulate everyone for this great idea.”

After the dance concluded, Cr Duff and Bill Roberts cut a special cake that had been baked for the Ball, and then residents and dancers relaxed together over an afternoon tea.

The Last Chance Debutante Ball was the brainchild of Murgon dance teachers Roy and Jenny de Jong, who brought the monthly dances to Castra last June

Couples at the Deb Ball were each presented to former Murgon Mayor Bill Roberts and South Burnett Deputy Mayor Kathy Duff; afterwards they cut a special cake to mark the occasion

Nine couples took part in the Last Chance Debutante Ball, performing a range of popular ballroom dances for about 40 Castra residents and staff

Dancers shared the fun with the audience ...

... even when everything didn't quite go to plan

Dancers took a breather between rounds of dancing, but John Woodward, Val Hodson, Betty Descovich and Ken Green said they were having an excellent time

During the Ball a recognition of service was presented to Castra carer Suzanne Pitt, who has been working at the complex for 15 years; Suzanne joined Castra not long after she left school and completed a Certificate III in aged care, and says she loves coming to work every day

It's not often that you get to see your mum dance at a Deb Ball, so Pam Dowdle gave her daughter - former Murgon dance teacher Susan Mollenhauer - the opportunity to come along and critique her performance on the dance floor

St Johns Lutheran School Open Day - click hereAnderssons Fruit Market for quality fruits and vegetables

One Response to Castra Deb Ball A Hit

  1. Betty Descovich

    As one of the “last chance debs” at the Castra deb ball, I would like to thank our dance teachers, Jenny and Roy de Jong, for the fun dance classes held every Thursday afternoon at the PCYC in Murgon, and for Castra staff for having us every month to dance as entertainment for the residents.

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