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Black, Gold and Silver
By Kimberly Parody

The sparkles of stars twinkle in the sky, silhouettes glide by in synchronous rhythm creating shadows in the dim light. Gentlemen in tuxedoes whisk the ladies off their feet. Umbrellas cover the tables that surround the square for the dancers to rest.

The setting is ideal for a romantic evening, not outside in the moonlight, but at the “Black, Gold and Silver Event” at the Promenade. The semiformal dance is an annual event at the Promenade DanceSport Facility, where guests dress to impress and enjoy friends, food and fun.

Cindy Sumida is the owner of the Promenade and coordinator of the event that took place on March 11. She put a lot of hard work and effort into transforming her ballroom into a black, gold and silver delight.

“I think because I have been doing it for five years now, it gets a little easier every year,” said Sumida. “I know what to do, what to buy, and I'm not quite as nervous.”

Preparation for the event began the day before. Setting tables and putting up decorations were the first things on the list.

“I break it down into two sections, decorating today and food tomorrow,” said Sumida, who knows the strategy of planning such events. She says holding an event like this on a Friday allows time to decorate on Thursday, as opposed to a Saturday evening, where she would interfere with Friday night dances.

Sumida also feels that it is easier not being rushed because she does not need to ask for as many volunteers. Her husband is always involved in the events, and one volunteer, Jane Stime, came out the night before.

“This is the first time I have volunteered,” said Stime, who is a regular at the Promenade. “I call myself a dance addict.”

Stime lent a hand by pulling decorations out of storage bins and displaying them around the perimeter of the ballroom. Some of the décor included shiny bags, gold and silver glittery hats, fancy harps and horns, and numerous other items.

Sumida's husband, Ed Timmerman, says all the decorations have accumulated over the years. “We have boxes of this stuff from Christmas, New Year's and Halloween,” said Timmerman.

Once the decorations were complete, the task of making food was ahead. According to Sumida, about $600 worth of food is needed for the dance. She expected approximately 150 guests to attend the dance, who all need to eat, so Friday was busy.

Chicken marsala, shrimp scampi, cheese and crackers, cookies and cake were all on the menu. Stime also made gold soup, which she says is pumpkin soup.

“It's not hot,” said Stime. “I made the soup this morning off the stove and I thought it would be hot, but it's not.”

The night included a foxtrot lesson, dancing, live music from “The Headliners,” food, champagne punch and dessert. Guests were requested to wear black, gold or silver, and the men must wear a dark jacket and tie.

“I love being dressed up, but I do not want to be confined,” participant Carolyn Walter said jokingly. “I have a beautiful blue dress.”

The festive atmosphere and live music attract many people. Elsa Interior is training to be a competitive dancer and feels that the night is special because of “the decorations and the band.” Interior says the live band does not play a strict tempo, making the music favorable for social dancing.

According to Sumida, the “Black, Gold and Silver Event” is the only dance of the year at the Promenade that has a live band.

“One thing about this band that most other bands can't do, is play very good Latin music,” said Sumida about why she chose this group for the night.

Along with the “Black, Gold and Silver Event,” the Promenade holds many dances throughout the year, which Sumida prepares for. “The Nutcracker Ball” is a Christmas celebration with 300 nutcrackers decorating the ballroom. According to Sumida, the last New Year's Party brought 297 people out to the Promenade.

Sumida opened the Promenade in the beginning of 2000. She and Timmerman were married in the ballroom, while it was under construction. Sumida wanted a nice ballroom in the Baltimore area for people to enjoy. She says that “dancers want everyone to dance.”

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