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Manteca YAC helps city host dance at Golden West
Neil Hafley 8th grader Austin Carroll (L), with MacParland 8th graders Kylee Fleckenstein (center) and Aliva Remay (R) shows off the latest in wrist wear. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin
Kenny Boynton looked forward to attending Friday’s teen dance at Golden West School.

For the occasion, the 15-year-old student from Stella Brockman School sported a new hairdo in the form of a stylish Mohawk featured with a dash of green.

“My dad cut my hair at home,” Boynton said. “I’ve always wanted to get one.”

But once he entered the multi-purpose facility, the youngster blended in with the other sixth-through-eighth-grade students primarily from the Manteca Unified School District.

According to Brandy Clark, who serves as the recreation supervisor, the teen dances are put together by the Manteca Department of Parks and Recreation with help from the Manteca Youth Advisory Commission.

The latter is a Manteca City Council-appointed group consisting of Brian Erik Burns, Hailee Bouthillier, Robert Dominguez, Lisa Thomas, Danielle Harder, Alex Orr and Alexis Mulherin.

“They serve as chaperones and will help out with the check in, snack bar and glow-stick table,” Clark said.

Members of the Youth Advisory Commission may also try to encourage some of the junior high students to dance.

Early on, the teen dance is like that of many held during the past 10 years. Youngsters stand around and hang out with friends in the dimly lit gym.

Some mix and mingle.

Despite the light show and the thumping rhythm of the music as played by the DJ, no one appears comfortable dancing at this point.

Students here are from the Manteca, Lathrop, French Camp and Weston Ranch.

Clark said a dress code is strictly enforced. It’s the same one used at Manteca Unified, meaning no hats, head gear or gang-related apparel.

Cost is $5 with students required to bring their school ID for admission. Those without can bring a parent or guardian to the ticket booth for verification.

The Manteca police are on site during the entirety of the dance – 6 to 9 p.m. – to ensure the safety of the students.

“A lot of the kids look forward to the teen dances,” Clark said. “I think that’s because the schools, for the exception of special occasions, no longer have regular dances.”

This city-sponsored event will be held each month. The next one is scheduled for Sept. 17.

For more information, call the parks and recreation department at 209-456-8600 or visit the website,