SOUTH PORTLAND – She may not have been in the target demographic, but Ida Childs was having fun at “Shop ‘Til You Rock” at the Maine Mall on Saturday.

Childs, 83, of Westbrook, was having a good time dancing to Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” on “Just Dance,” a Wii video game blaring on two screens in the middle of the mall.

“I like wiggling a lot,” Childs said. “I like waltzing and jitterbugging and slow dancing.”

Despite the fact that the songs offered on the game — which leaned toward the Baha Men, Blondie and M.C. Hammer end of the musical spectrum — didn’t lend themselves to her favored styles, Childs scored fairly well. Players hold controllers as they dance along to the songs and are electronically scored on how well they mimic the dance moves of animated characters on the screen.

Despite prodding, Childs wasn’t able to convince her companions, who were 87 and 92, to join her on “Just Dance,” and the trio wasn’t interested in getting their hair dyed bright colors and trying on well-worn hats and feather boas to be photographed as rock stars, or spending time in the “Pepsi Lounge,” where they could offer up ideas for an ongoing promotion to change the world for the better.

“With 14 kids I’m going to look like a rock star? Yeah, right,” said Chris Egan, Childs’ 87-year-old friend, who later admitted that she really only had one child, although she was from a family of 17.

The mall event drew steady interest, despite the fact that it had some tough competition. Until fog rolled in along the coast later in the day, Saturday was sunny, warm and humid, which probably put people in the mood for a trip to the beach or a lake instead of the mall.

“Shop ‘Til You Rock,” put on by the mall’s owner, General Growth Properties, offered gifts such as T-shirts and shopping bags to those who stopped by. In addition to the video game, the rock star photo shoot and the lounge, shoppers could watch a fashion show put on by mall clothing stores and take in a rock concert. Teenage shoppers could even sign up for a modeling audition.

The lineup of events was good enough to convince Avery Janes and Alex Garnett to tell Janes’ mom they wanted to stay an extra day in Maine. The trio was supposed to head back home to Nova Scotia on Saturday morning, but when they saw information on “Shop ‘Til You Rock” at the mall during a visit Friday, the 15-year-olds decided to extend the stay.

First the two added some pink and green to their hair for the photo shoot, then they went a few rounds with “Just Dance,” with a rest in the lounge in between. “It was worth it,” Janes said, adding that she would have bought “Just Dance” for her Wii back in Canada if she hadn’t sold the video game console last week.

Staff Writer Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at:

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