Once Upon a Prom

Namine attended her first prom dance!

No, you didn’t suddenly lose a few years. (Although sometimes we feel like we did.) Yes, Namine is still “only” (picture me doing finger quotes here) a freshman in high school. Namine’s school, Rural Virtual Academy, can be unconventional; one such way is that their prom is not limited to juniors and seniors, as proms usually are. Anyone can attend, including a very enthusiastic fourteen year old.

This year’s RVA prom was themed “Once Upon a Prom.” Students were encouraged to dress in Renaissance attire, something that Namine was quite excited about. The dance was at the same place as state testing, so we had another two-hour drive ahead of us. We booked a hotel in advance, knowing that we would probably not be up for driving home at 10:00 at night. (And, writing this now, am I glad we did!)

We were a little late in dropping Namine off, so the kickoff events had already started by the time she arrived. When she entered the dance area, the teachers — in keeping with the Renaissance theme — were jousting. (Her history teacher won.)

Next up was dinner: there was a taco bar, so everyone was free to go up and serve themselves. Like at the Fall dance, the students were encouraged to eat before dancing, which… I mean, I wouldn’t, but that’s me.

The students all participated (all who wanted to, no coercion involved) in a Maypole dance.

Maypole dance, ceremonial folk dance performed around a tall pole garlanded with greenery or flowers and often hung with ribbons that are woven into complex patterns by the dancers.


Namine typically does not like or permit herself to be pushed in her wheelchair, but she asked a classmate to push her during the Maypole dance so she could participate in the ribbon weaving. They were kind enough to oblige.

The students next participated in a dance called Promenade, also referred to as Merry March by the school staff. This involved announcing each student (or students, if one had brought a date or was with siblings) as they crossed the dance floor. (This was a good way to introduce everyone that didn’t involve name tags.)

After this point, the DJ started up the dance music. Namine had a lot of fun dancing with her friends. (Jessica and I went out on a dinner date and checked into our hotel room.) When it was time to pick her up, I found her in the game room they’d set up, playing Mario Kart. (She is my daughter, you know. )

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