Resident Celebrates 100th Birthday with Century Ball and Dances the Night Away

September 12, 2019 | The Villager | Reading Time 2:00 Minutes

Tenho Connable, a 20+-year resident at Friendship Village Kalamazoo Independent Living Apartment Homes, knows how to celebrate a birthday in style. Her 100th birthday to be exact.

An award-winning ballroom dancer, and the first woman to graduate from the University of Michigan engineering program,

Tenho invited more than 200 family and friends to dance the night away at her Century Ball.

Held at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in downtown Kalamazoo, MI, Tenho’s Century Ball featured a delicious buffet, bar, and band that played a variety of music – with the best part watching Tenho and her partner elegantly command the dance floor. Tenho also arranged for others to dazzle her guests with a variety of dances for all to enjoy.

Tenho’s ballroom dancing began later in life when she won a course of dance lessons at a charity auction. She soon realized she had a natural ability for dancing, and she happily continued lessons for many years.

With much delight, she and her partner have participated in and won several exhibitions over the years. And Tenho doesn’t select easy dances. In fact one of her dances is the complicated “Paso Diablo.”

Tenho also competed in the Hawaiian Star Competition. She entered 12 dances in which to be judged; six per day and in each she received a first place in her age group, 85 and up!

Many of Tenho’s Friendship Village friends, as well as employees, were in attendance. Among those from Friendship Village included Betsy Bale, Executive Director, Craig Fowler, Director of Culinary Services, David Goodrich, Director of Accounting and Ken Greschak, Director of Life Enrichment and Fund Development. Betsy Bale comments, “Tenho is an inspiration to us all. We were excited and honored to have had the opportunity to celebrate with her.”