By MAGGIE MCMURRAY
Moapa Valley Progress
What’s red and white and dances all night? Ute Perkins Elementary students, that’s who!
Perkins students and their families got to participate in the school’s first annual Ties and Tiaras event on Friday night. Everyone dressed in their finest outfits; including many in red, pink, and white; and converged on the school’s cafeteria to celebrate Valentine’s Day a little early with music, laughter, and time spent together.
The dance was planned and sponsored by the school’s Parent Teacher Organization. The event was free for everyone and was designed to give the students and their families a chance to celebrate the holiday in an active way that would let them have fun and build ties together.
As families arrived, luminaries lit a path that guided them to a doorway to the cafeteria ballroom. From there they stepped in to find the room completely transformed. Over a hundred balloons floated up from the floor to make a fairy-tale dance space with posters, signs, couches, and other decorations making the room special.
The event was well attended and everyone seemed to have fun, which pleased organizers. “We were trying to find an activity that was different and everyone thought this sounded like a lot of fun,” said Perkins PTO president Bren McClean. “The turnout was great and we’re excited to have such a great response to new things that get our kids and parents involved.”
McClean gives credit for the decorations to her PTO board members Cierra Bunch, Taci May, and Lisa Wolfley, and parent helpers Rorie Boss and Wendy Jensen. “I was called out of town on a family emergency and left them with all the decorating and they did a beautiful job,” McClean said. “I really appreciate all the hard work that went into this in my absence.”
The DJ for the event was Alicia Silva who played a variety of songs aimed for both kids and parents. There were slow songs that gave dads and daughters and moms and sons a chance to whirl each other around the floor. There were popular group dances like the Cupid Shuffle and the Electric Slide, and there were fun dances such as the Macarena and YMCA.
Perhaps the most entertaining dance of the night was the “Chicken Dance.” All the students persuaded Vice-Principal Kelby Robison to join in, despite his protestations that he didn’t know the dance. Robison quickly became a chicken dance expert, though, among much laughter and cheers from his students.
Much of the night happened thanks to generous sponsors, who gave time and supplies to help things turn out. In addition to Silva, who was the DJ for the evening, Anderson Dairy donated drinks, Jennie Turpening of CMJ Photography took pictures of all the kids and families, the Front Porch loaned the school items for decorating, and the helium for all the balloons was also donated.
Jodi Lehman, Moapa, brought her husband and two sons to the event. “It’s something different and different is always fun,” she said. “I like that it involves the family and I like that there was room for everybody to have a great time together while getting to know each other better.”
Robison appreciated the efforts of all who supported the event. “This whole event turned out awesome,” he said. “The PTO put in a lot of work setting up, planning, and decorating. The whole room looks fantastic and the community really loved it. I’m glad everyone had so much fun.”