Singles mingle at the Central Library

By Daria Kroupoderova
Northwest Asian Weekly

Participants dancing. (Photo by Daria Kroupoderova/NWAW)

The Central Library held its first Singles’ Dating Workshop and Dance on Aug. 2.

The event was put on by Nonie Xue, a Chinese language librarian and the North America China Council. The workshop was open to all, though most that showed up were Chinese, ages ranging from early 20s to late 60s.“I’m so glad to see so many young professionals,” Xue said. One of her goals was to attract more young people to the events, since usually her events consist of mostly seniors.

First pair to hit the dance floor. (Photo by Daria Kroupoderova/NWAW)

The workshop began by having people sign in by filling out a contact questionnaire and getting a name tag. Once everyone was seated, a number was assigned to each person. The idea was that if two people were interested in each other, they would tell the organizers the number on the name tag of the person they liked and could get contact information.

One by one, people were allowed to stand up and say a little about themselves.

There were approximately 100 people present, so not everyone received a turn.

Very few people spoke in English when describing themselves, most spoke in Chinese. The hosts would ask questions, such as “What type of partner are you looking for?” or “What do you do for fun?”

Several attendees left once they realized that they would have to stand up in front of everyone and talk.

“I think it’s a little nerve-wracking…I thought it would be an event to just talk to people individually,” Zimei Wei said. Wei was one of the people to leave early.

She said she felt it would be difficult to get to know someone by just talking for a few minutes in front of a crowd.

Most, however, did stay for the rest of the event. After introductions, refreshments were provided and people had a chance to talk to one another before the speaker presentation. Executive director of the Tai Initiative, Carson Tavenner, spoke about networking and meeting people.

A dance lesson and demo were provided by Asia Qing Wen and Michael Cahn, instructors from Suenos de Salsa.

Getting a dance lesson from Michael Cahn and Asia Qing Wen. (Photo by Daria Kroupoderova/NWAW)

The workshop’s last event was a dance to Asian pop music, where participants could use their new dance skills and socialize with other attendees. Xue said she thinks the program had a great turnout and that next time, “We will add small group activities to let them interact with each other more, maybe try the speed dating format to give them more one-on-one time.”

Overall, attendees seemed to enjoy the opportunity to meet new people.“It’s the first time attending something like this…it’s a nice way to get people out and get to know each other,” Jason Wong said.

Xue said she plans holding another event like this for seniors only in early December and for young people around next Valentine’s Day. (end)

Daria Kroupoderova can be reached at

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