Thomas Marnon: Dancing like no one is watching


Lauren Clair and Nicole Mcmenomay

When junior Thomas Marnon was in the eighth grade, he decided to volunteer at the Shelby Senior Center to earn his National Junior Honor Society service hours. The senior center regularly held themed dances and was asking for volunteers. At the time, he thought it would be fun and easy nights of service to complete for the club.

What he didn’t know at the time was that one night of being a volunteer at a senior dance would turn into another hobby: volunteering to actually dance with the seniors.

“I brought my friends, and the seniors were asking us to dance,” he said. “They were like, ‘we should start dancing with them.’ So, we did.”

The dances take place on the third Friday of the month and are themed to holidays like Christmas and Saint Patrick’s Day, depending on the month.

Open to any help, the volunteers spend their time setting up for the events and socializing with the members of the center.

While Marnon originally donated his time for the volunteer hours, the monthly commitment has developed into something he has looked forward to doing.

“I thought the dancing was really fun,” Marnon said, “so I continued to go even after my service hours were filled, as well as in the summer.”

Once he was used to the dances and got more comfortable going, he said, he began to invite friends and his girlfriend to come along with him and share in something that he enjoyed.

“[My girlfriend] has as much fun as I do,” he said. “The people like to see her there.”

Marnon often participates in waltzes and polkas with the seniors at the dances. As for his favorite dance to do?

“They have line dances,” he said. “They’re the greatest. It’s easy to get right away; you can just hop in and start doing it.”

Marnon is making an impact on local seniors in the community, one step at a time. Not only is he fulfilling his service hours, but he’s having fun while doing it, too.

“I always love seeing students doing something productive, especially when it benefits others,” principal Thomas Lietz said. “Thomas Marnon is doing a great job with what he’s doing.”

“Whenever I go, I’m always getting smiles from the people I dance with,” Marnon said. “It makes me feel good to know that I’m making people happy while being able to have fun at the same time.”