By Whitney Jackson
On Thursday, December 31st people were smiling, games were being played, and music was urging attendees to get up out of their chairs and move to the beat as the Suzy and Hondo School of Dance kicked off a vibrant and entertaining New Year’s Eve party. The event lasted until well past midnight and included a social hour, an elegant dinner, a performance from a live band, and a night full of dancing. “The night was filled with a mixture of community members from Bemidji and college students,” said Ryan Kurtz, sophomore at Bemidji State. “It was open to all who wanted to come.”
The doors to the studio, located in Bemidji, opened at 6 PM with snacks set out and games displayed. Later in the evening, a dinner of balsamic roasted pork tenderloin, angel hair pasta with fresh herbs and garlic, and braised green beans with summer vegetables was brought out to the guests by Suzy and Hondo’s youngest daughter, Tyra, and her friends. At 9 PM Pelican Railroad, a band native to Bemidji, took center stage. With a wide range of genres including rock, blues, and jazz, the beat was quick and the energy was high.
“The entire night was spent socializing and dancing,” Kurtz said. “After Pelican Railroad’s first set we had dessert but then the party just kept on going.”
With ten minutes left until midnight, and the ringing in of another come again, a toast to 2016 and a few more songs performed by Pelican Railroad brought the evening to a close. “After the clock struck midnight the studio was almost overflowing with pure joy and you could tell that every single person wanted to be there,” said Tia Langhout, Suzy and Hondo’s oldest daughter. “It was the perfect place to welcome 2016.”