I remember the first dance I went to. I was 12. J, the boy on the next block walked the neighbor's dog around our block all summer. I noticed. Our brothers were in the same boy scout troop. He was cute, smart and kind. I was smitten. He asked me to this dance and I wore my cutest skirt and sweater. In the basement of his school, we danced and went for pizza afterwards. Best. Night. Ever. For a 12 year old in the mid 80s.
2016, well, it's a little different. CHAMPs, a local homeschool cooperative, hosts a formal every fall and spring. This spring, it was held at Makray Memorial Golf Club, in Barrington, Illinois, and was Hollywood themed. These kids came to play! Hair, makeup and attire were en pointe!
A group of teens gathered for formal pictures at Makray Memorial Golf Club, just outside the clubhouse.
Katherine and Megan posed for formal images at their spring formal in Barrington, Illinois.
Seniors, Cari and Adam, had a James Bond look in mind when posing for their portrait before the event started.
Khalia and Luke posed for formal pictures on the balcony at the golf club.
Megan and Joe posed on the upper deck balcony, just off the event space, at the clubhouse.
Gold and silver stars are used as place cards at the CHAMPs Spring Formal.
Mini Oscars are lined up for the winners of prom court. A red carpet and stanchions await the formal arrival of guests.
Precious and Laura picked up their place cards and walked the red carpet.
Lyle and Ryneeka walked the red carpet with panache.
A few of my friends, and fellow homeschooling mothers, acted as organizers and chaperones for the CHAMPs Spring Formal.
Rynazhae struck a pose at the end of her red carpet walk.
The organizers also built a red carpet photobooth, filled with costume pieces and props and was open most of the evening. The kids had so much fun dressing up, making silly faces and poses. Some kept it classy as well.
Even the moms got in on the photobooth action! There are some with hats and boas, but I'm saving those for a rainy day! :)
The DJ kept the music pumping after dinner. Lots of popular songs and line dances kept the kids hopping. Who doesn't love a good "Cha-Cha Slide"? A few slow songs rounded out the playlist and gave party-goers an opportunity to catch their breath.
Earlier in the evenings, ballots had been passed out to vote for Prom Court. Instead of crowns, winners were given Academy Award-esque statues.
Here are the winners!! The CHAMPs Spring Formal Court of 2016. Some of the awards distributed included: most stylish couple, best dressed actor and actress, supporting roles for male and female.
Even my own little party-goer, Aaron, won an award: Best dressed actor. His tuxedo was rented from Emanuele Tuxedo in Morton Grove, Illinois. Here he is, an aspiring comedian, practicing his Academy Award acceptance speech. This kid is something else. Whatever he says, he'd better be sure to thank his mom!
Events like proms and formal dances are a fleeting, joyous moment in your life. I remember so many dances, dates and great times with friends. I wish photography had been more accessible to me at that age. My mind's eye grows more dim every year that passes. If you received these photos as my gift to you for attending the dance, please take the time to print them. Don't just let them live on your phone or computer, looking at them through some app. Printed pictures, when cared for properly, live for a very long time. And you know you're totally gonna want to show your kids these!