By MIN YANG and TIFFANY MERRITT

Editor: MICHELLE DANNER

 

Great Gatsby event is one of the activities organized by New Mind Education at UNCG. This was a dance activity steeped in mystery.  Many Americans have studied the novel The Great Gatsby during high school.  For those who know the story, a time period in the character Gatsby’s life is missing from the narrative.  Many rumours circulate in the book about how he made his money.  Well, UPP discovered that Gatsby made a lot of his money in Shanghai actually!  It was our hope to transport our guests back in time to the era of glamour and pizzazz of Gatsby in Shanghai.  

 

 

In addition, dancing is a good physical activity for everyone. The types of dances, including swing and fox-trot, are traditional American dance performable by even the most beginner dance students.  Teaching UPP students this style of dance enables them to attend swing dancing activities with their American friends and participate in the culture.  This activity was also fun for Americans as they had the chance to share their own culture with UPP students in a fun party.

 

The Great Gatsby event was successfully held in the Elliott University Center’s Cone Ballroom from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. The event was hosted by UPP@UNCG. 11 current students and 23 alumni joined this party, in addition to the UPP staff.

 

 

During the event, UPP provided food and set up decorations of Shanghai old town silhouettes.  Activities included teaching students how to swing dance, waltz, and fox-trot, with guys inviting ladies to dance of course.  UPP provided a station for people to make 1920s flapper headbands, and take pictures with props in the photo booth in front the art deco background. Many guests dressed in the spirit of the event.  Men wore handsome suits and women wore beautiful flapper style dresses, or even the traditional Chinese Qipao. Some people wore suspenders and bow ties; others wore traditional Chinese businessman suits to be in the true spirit of Gatsby as a successful businessman in Shanghai. There were two Americans who taught others to swing dance. Many people ended up learning how to swing dance.

 

This was a small but very fun event. Everyone is looking forward to the next Great Gatsby Event.