Singles dance offers opportunity to meet others

What happens when a person gets a divorce? Or when their spouse dies?

"When you become single, you lose all of your friends, all of your family ... so you don't have anybody," said Winnie Dickerson-Oswalt, who lost her husband years ago and has since re-married.

One place to meet new people is the singles dance at Muncie's American Legion every Saturday night from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

"No one knows what it is like to lose a husband or wife, except someone who has lost a husband or wife -- people here know how you feel," said Dickerson-Oswalt, who met her second husband, Phil Oswalt, at the dance. They organized it together from February 2000 through July 2001.

She added that the singles dance is a good place to drown loneliness in friends and fun, instead of alcohol.

Jerry Miles, who met his current wife at the dance, has a similar view.

"It's a good place to go because everyone is in the same boat, and everyone speaks the same language," he said.

Tickets to the dance are $6, or $5 with a student ID. Snacks and door prizes are provided, and drinks, alcoholic and non-alcoholic, are available. Singles arriving an hour early can practice line dancing. Four DJ's help to keep the music varied -- everything from swing to rap.

"The music releases your soul and lets that frustration, anger, and hurt out," Dickerson-Oswalt said.

Sue Bunch, who organizes the dance, said participants vary in age from 21 to 70.

"If you're single, you're here," she said.

However, on May 11, the night before Mother's Day, few 20-somethings, if any, were in attendance.

"We like the slow music better," said Al Harman, a thin man with a shock of white hair who would only describe his age as "39-plus," as a loud, modern selection played in the background.

Still, Dickerson-Oswalt and others would be glad to see younger faces.

"Any single over 21 is welcome," she said. "It would be great if younger ones would come. This is a fun place, not a bar, and women can leave alone."

In fact, that is the whole idea behind the singles dance, Dickerson-Oswalt said.

"(The dance is) a place where women could come in by themselves, leave by themselves, and be protected," Dickerson-Oswalt said. "We didn't allow people to get drunk, and if they did, someone would drive them home."

Jerry Miles added, "It's a nice place to go to have fun without getting sloppy drunk. At our age, it's hard to find a place to have fun that isn't a bar."

The Oswalts are not the only married couple that met at the dance. Claudia Miles also found a spouse there.

"I wanted to come in here, let my hair down, and go home, alone," she said.

But a friend convinced her to dance with Jerry Miles, and they began a relationship.

However, many people who meet at the singles dance simply become friends.

"You never know when you might meet the best friend of your life," Oswalt said.

His wife said that the friendships can become very important to a person's life.

"Once you've been here and started the friendships it becomes like family, " she said.

Dickerson-Oswalt, who calls the dance a "safe haven" for singles, also said that the atmosphere at this particular dance is special.

"This dance was started by people who care about other people," she said. "When you lose that, you lose the ambiance."qqJ+â-Å+â-ì+â-ê+â-Ä+â-î+â-ö+â-î+â-Ä+â-è+â-ï+â-Ä+â-ö+â-Æ+â-Å+â-ì+â-ö+â-î+â-Ä+â-ì+â-Å+â-¢+â-Ü+â-Æ+â-Æ+â-Ü+â-ö+â-Å+â-î+â-Ü+â-Æ+â-Å+â-ê+â-Å+â-Ü+â-ö+â-ö+â-ö+â-Æ+â-Ö^~+â-Ä+â-ô+â-Å+â-ì^"-í-¦'-¬+â-ÿ'*+â-î+â-Æ+â-Æ+â-Å+â-ü+â-ü+â-ê+â-ï+â-ô+â-î+â-î+â-î+â-ö+â-ö+â-ö+â-ö+â-Å+â-Å+â-Ü+â-Ö+â-Ö^+â-Æ+â-Æ+â-¢+â-Ü+â-î+â-Å+â-ô+â-Ü+â-Ü+â-¢+â-Ü+â-¢~^-»-»-»^+â-Ü+â-ö+â-ô+â-Ü+â-Ö^^+â-¢?+â-¦?-º™+â-ÿ-ú+â-¦+â+â-»+â-++â-¦-«*-º-ó+â-¦+â-¦+â-+-ó™-º+â-ÿ+â-¦+â+â-¦-ó-ú+â-++â-¦+â-¦+â+â+â-»+â-¦+â-++â-++â-¦+â-¦+â-¦-¦+â-++â+â-¦+â-¦+â-¦+â-¦+â-¦?-¦+â-¦-¬-º-º*+â-++â+â-»+â-¦*+â-¦?+â-¦+â-¦+â-¦+â-Ñ+â-ó-ó+â-¦+â-¦+â-¦+â-¬+â-úw{~+â-ñ+â-¦-«-¦+â-¦+â-¿+â-º+â-»+â-¦+â-¦?+â-++â-¦+â-«+â-++â-+?-¦+â-¦+â-¦+â-+-«+â-»-ó+â-å+â-ƒ-¦*+â-++â-¦+â-¼+â+â-«-ú+â-ÿ-¦-º"h+â-Å[amlegionDNEditorial!o[amlegion

Hard Drive"3[amlegionDNEditorialqqJ=M\+â-¦JAUDT



More from The Daily

This Week's Digital Issue

Loading Recent Classifieds...