Grand Ball’s third appearance transforms TC into an “Enchanted Forest”

A night of dancing, food and enchanting forests

April 1, 2022

The cafeteria was transformed from its usual appearance into a magical forest of glittering lights, green canopy with bright roses and backdrops of forestry scenes on the evening of March 26. 

The Life Skills department hosted its third Grand Ball from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Attendants of the Grand Ball had the opportunity to have a night in the “Enchanted Forest.” 

The “Enchanted Forest” decorations that volunteers put up for the Grand Ball to transform the cafeteria. (Nicole Sun Photography)

The Grand Ball is a prom-style dance for the life skills students. The event was canceled last year and the year before due to COVID-19, so Life Skills teacher Jennifer Shaw was excited to have the opportunity to host the event this spring.

“It’s for our life skills students and it’s like a prom for them,” Shaw said. “And then we pair them up with their Gen Ed peers, and they just come here and have a good time.” 

Life skills students prepared Grand Ball proposals. Freshman Jackson Geren asked senior Katherine Omo-Osagie to the ball with a sign that read “every prince needs his princess” in colorful marker on lime green poster board.

Freshman Jackson Geren and senior Katherine Omo-Osagie enter into the Enchanted Forest. (Nicole Sun Photography)

“It was a lot of fun,” Omo-Osagie said. “It was fun seeing all of the life skills kids getting dressed and having fun. My favorite memory with Jackson was when he asked me to be his date because he got really excited.”

The Grand Ball was full of colorful dresses ranging from deep blues to fiery reds, and regal suits with shiny ties. The suits were donated for students to wear from “Bailey’s Bridal” and people in the community helped donate dresses. Donations from the community helped to make this night possible. The donated decorations were used to transform the cafeteria to feel like a magical forest and the food was donated as well. 

The Grand Ball consisted of dancing, food and fun. Shaw said a parent stated that everything was about the kids on this special night and making it for them. The life skills students attended the Grand Ball with their peers and family. Students danced the night away, and had fun with friends. 

“It [The Grand Ball] was good,” Junior Chris Andrade said. “I danced a lot.” 

As different songs of different genres played, the students hit the Enchanted Forest-themed dance floor. 

Junior Joseph Pargas dances at The Grand Ball on March 26. (Nicole Sun Photography)

“I got to dance and have fun,” Sophomore Bryan Sutton said. “It was the best night.” 

Those who attended enjoyed the decorations and the effort put into this night and making it as magical as possible. 

“Our life skills teachers and program did an amazing job putting it together,” Girls Basketball Coach Lindsey Pouncy said. “It was absolutely gorgeous.”

Day one of setting up for the event was on Friday night and Saturday volunteers set up from 10 a.m. until the middle part of the afternoon. Enchanting backdrops were placed neatly as photo booths, bright glowing lights were strung across the walls, candles draped in leaves dressed the tables as center pieces and hunter green trees were placed neatly around the cafeteria.

The dance floor is packed with fun at The Grand Ball. (Nicole Sun Photography)

Shaw is proud of how the night turned out after two long years without the event, she says. 

“I think it was a great success,” Shaw said. “I hope the students felt cherished and valued. I hope everyone else that attended felt, is it weird to say “warm and fuzzy” inside, just happy and proud of what they saw, proud of our community for coming together for the kids.” 

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