After months of careful and detailed planning by a local youth council, a New Year’s Eve Dance was held on Friday night, Dec. 31, for Moapa Valley teens. The dance was held at the Logandale Stake Center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Youth, ages 14 and up, from all over the Moapa Valley communities, gathered at the church to celebrate the final hours of 2021 and spend the beginning of 2022 together.
The hall was decorated for a stylish party. Purple and green streamers were hung from the ceiling. A fog machine and strobe lights beamed to the beat of the music. One of the ornaments was a faux disco ball made impressively out of plastic cups, illuminating from the center of the ceiling. This majestic decoration was created and generously offered by Charlie Cooper to enhance the experience of the evening.
About sixty youth showed up to the event. Dance Instructor Tayna Holmstead gathered the kids together to learn a line dance and also dances where girls and boys partnered up.
When asked what kind of dances she knows and teaches, Holmstead enthusiastically said, “Everything!”
Holmstead has been instructing in both Moapa Valley and in other communities for over a decade. She even made the playlist that the youth waltzed and bopped to, a mixture of both modern energizing tracks and slow, poignant melodies for slow dancing.
The refreshments at the party offered a variety of delectables. Raegan Whipple provided a homemade Root Beer beverage, much enjoyed by the youth. In addition, there were paper food baskets filled with savory nachos and flavored doughnut holes provided by Dalisay Shyface.
Shyface serves in the Logandale Stake Young Women’s Presidency. She worked with the youth committee who planned the New Year’s event.
“The Youth committee wanted more dances,” Shyface said. “They really felt like they missed out on their New Years Eve Dance last year.”
Shyface said that the planning started a couple months ago. “The Youth Committee would meet and just discuss the type of things they wanted to do and direct: the decorations and what type of food we should have etc.”
Another adult leader who was there and enjoying the fun was Chuck Burt, Second Counselor in the Logandale Nevada Stake Presidency. Burt offered insight into the preparations and planning for the event, emphasizing that it is driven by the youth leadership.
“Interestingly enough, we always organize this with a youth committee,” Burt said. “The youth are the ones who are making the choices. We as adults simply provide direction for them and we let them come up with the ideas.”
Burt added that every youth activity that the Stake puts on has one central purpose in mind.
“With any activity we do, we really have to tell the youth that the intent is to help them draw closer to Christ,” Burt said. “So they’ve tried everything they can and it really has a social relevance to it, so the whole purpose was to grow socially and to interact.”
One of the youth committee members, Myles Mortensen, was happy to talk about his perspective on the event.
“We started planning this in October,” Mortensen said. “We started planning it like it was going to be a pretty big dance, they wanted it to be huge. But everything fell through.”
Even so, the crowd of youth seemed to be having a good time together. “It seems like everyone is having a great time and I hope all the youth will get to know each other better,” Mortensen said.
As the hour of midnight approached, a large number of youth had gathered and were ready to start the official count down. The countdown took place and the group of teens entered 2022 with good hopes for starting the new year with a greater appreciation for each other and those who helped put everything together in this new beginning.