Girls Night

Girls Inc. held a girls-only ’80s-themed dance party to give females a space to let loose, exercise and have fun

Cyndi Lauper blasted on the speakers, while a group of six teenage girls danced together in a small semi-circle in a strobe-lit auditorium at YWCA’s Girls Inc., located at 401 Douglas St., on Thursday night, March 10.

Girls Inc., a national non-profit dedicated to empowering girls, organized this “judgment-free,” girls-only Dance Dance Party Party fundraiser to get women of all ages moving and exercising for better health and self-image. All the proceeds raised went directly to Girls Inc. programming.

A group of teenage girls dance together during the Girls Inc. Dance Dance Party Party fundraiser held Thursday, March 10. -- Photo by Alicia Smith

With this event, Girls Inc. wanted to create an environment where women could dance and have fun without fear of embarrassment or a guy watching, said Teri Del Rosso, teen program coordinator for Girls Inc.

“I want women to appreciate themselves, what their bodies can do, how fun it is to just move and sweat,” said Del Rosso, 27, who wore a neon green top, purple skirt and pink tights to show off her 80s flair.

Leading by example, Del Rosso danced around the room, and encouraged the girls to join her. And they did.

“I like the music, it makes me happy to know that this is what they used to listen to, it’s fun,” said Jakima McDowell, 13, who danced with friends and even got her mother up and dancing with her.

A regular at Girls Inc., Nickoy Allen, 15, came to show her support for the program and dance with friends. “Although there’s not a lot of people, I’m having a lot of fun,” said Allen.

Though the event only drew 10 people, Del Rosso hopes this first dance helps build momentum for the seven upcoming Dance Dance Party Party events over the next few months.

“It’s really important to have some fun and laugh,” Del Rosso said. “[Dancing is] a workout for your body and your soul.”