Spreading Holiday Cheer

The holiday season fills the air with a feeling of kind generosity and a willingness to do good for others. This year, fine arts students used their festive emotions to spread cheer to the elderly.

On Dec. 6, the Nu Delta Alpha National Dance Honors Society (NDA) and members of the Honors choral ensemble visited Lee’s Long Term Care Facility in Raleigh as part of a community outreach program. The facility cares for elderly patients who are unable to independently support themselves, and the students arrived to warm and excited welcome.

(L to R): Gabbie D'Agostino, Abby Britt, Emily Urtz and Claire Dodd pose for a group picture.

(L to R): Gabbie D’Agostino, Abby Britt, Emily Urtz and Claire Dodd pose for a group picture.

“Performing for the retirement home was great…you know they don’t get as many visitors as they should, especially at this time of year, and it made me feel great to make them feel happy,” said sophomore chorus member Amanda Sledge.

English instructor Brenda Massengill volunteers at the facility on weekends, and suggested the idea to NDA President Abby Britt this past summer. Britt further organized and planned the performance within the arts department.

“We picked four Christmas stories to read, the chorus sang four songs, and NDA did two dance numbers,” Britt said.

Kylie Vanderbeek reads "Frosty the Snowman."

Kylie Vanderbeek reads “Frosty the Snowman.”

Britt attended the event in her newly acquired Miss West Johnston sash and crown, while other students celebrated the holiday theme in elf and Santa hats.

 

(Back Row L to R): Riley Andrews, Paige Simons, Melanie Langness, Gabbie D'Agostino and Kylie Vanderbeek. (Front Row L to R): Jordan Zachary, Amanda Sledge, Casey C, Mya Atkinson, Abby Britt, Emily Urtz and Claire Dodd.

(Back Row L to R): Riley Andrews, Paige Simons, Melanie Langness, Gabbie D’Agostino and Kylie Vanderbeek. (Front Row L to R): Jordan Zachary, Amanda Sledge, Casey C, Mya Atkinson, Abby Britt, Emily Urtz and Claire Dodd.

Residents enjoyed the presentation– the bountiful “thank you’s” and applause showed appreciation for the festive digression from their typical daily routines.

“While we were singing, there was one woman in the back and she was clapping along and dancing and conducting for us as we sang,” Sledge said.

Community service is a part of the NDA club mission, but the chorus attended the event simply to brighten the patients’ day. Both groups rated the event a pleasant experience, and plan to revisit the home in the future.

“It just made me feel like I was giving back to these people,” Sledge said.