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Having been promised a Hawaiian party filled with music, refreshments and grass skirts, approximately 25 members of Newtown Senior Center showed up the afternoon of August 3 for a few hours of fun.
The work week was ending with another hot and humid day. Inside the senior center, the mood was tropical. Grass skirts adorned those brave enough to lead the dancing in the middle of the center’s main room. Nearly every guest at the party had been given a lei.
Green plastic palms hung from the ceiling, and a few photo cutouts encouraged guests to take silly photos during the party. Colorful flowers and island images were also hung around the room, adding to the atmosphere.
José Paulo led the musical entertainment on Friday afternoon, playing keyboards supplemented by digital music and singing songs both familiar and unfamiliar. A big smile was flashed regularly while Mr Paulo performed.
Mr Paulo was joined by Kaena Michaels, who performed a few hula dances for the crowd. For a few songs, Ms Michaels hula danced for the crowd. With Mr Paulo performing a medley of Don Ho songs, she sashayed around the open dance space, her grass skirt smoothly accenting the movements of her hips.
Smiling toward the seniors seated at tables that had been moved into the side of the room, Ms Michaels moved her arms and hands fluidly, making the dance look effortless.
Later, she danced while Mr Paulo sang, and the party guests tapped coconut shells in a tempo Ms Michaels had taught before launching into that song.
A few games added to the fun, and refreshments with a tropical hint — fruit punch, fruit salad, and coconut cake — were also served.