Entirely East Lansing
Arendelle, the kingdom that is home to the popular Disney characters Snow Queen Elsa and Princess Anna came to life at the East Lansing Hannah Community Center.
With Valentine’s Day just last weekend, the community center held its annual Princess Ball Tuesday, Feb. 10 and Wednesday, Feb. 11 from 7 to 8:30 p.m, Kathleen Miller, Hannah Community Center, program coordinator Department of Parks, Recreation and Arts said.
“Every year, I look forward to seeing all of the little girls dressed up,” said Kathleen Miller. “I have two teenage boys and can’t have a Princess Ball for them, so to see the little girls happy and dancing is such a rewarding feeling.”
Early registration was recommended due to the spike in projected attendance at this year’s Princess Ball, but guests could pay at front door as well. Tickets were $14 per person and included many activities, such as dancing, refreshments and professional family portraits, Miller said.
The Princess Ball is split up between two nights, as the attendance booms to about 500 people per year, said Miller. An arch was made in the center of the gym with all different colors of blue to symbolize the “Frozen” theme. The gym was full of fairy lights that filled the room, which added to the icy “Frozen” effect.Families could pose with Olaf, the fictional snowman in the craft room, Miller said. A photographer from Dick’s Studio of Ithaca took portraits for purchase.
Volunteers at the decorated refreshment table offered heart-shaped desserts and cooling punch for guests, Miller said.
The crowd favorite was the special appearance of Hannah Feuka, a Perry High School senior. Dressed in a sparkly blue dress complete with a thick braid and crown, Feuka resembled the magical Snow Queen Elsa.
“I loved being Queen Elsa for the night,” said Feuka. “It was absolutely adorable when the girls asked me about my ‘palace’ back home!”With one of the biggest turnouts yet, families were rushing the dance floor. The DJ played Taylor Swift and other artists that the families could sing and dance to, said East Lansing Hannah Community Center intern, Mary-Elizabeth Mariani.
Many children slow danced with their family member and bonded throughout the special event, Mariani said.
“It made my night to see all of the little girls dressed up in princess dresses, thrilled to be there with their family,” said Mariani.
It seemed that the chaperones were enjoying themselves as much as the children. They were socializing with friends, dancing with their children, and enjoying the refreshments. Father of three, Charles Gordon attended with his daughters, Nandi, Naomi and Sydney for his fourth year in a row, Gordon said.
“Watching the reaction on my girls’ face when they first came in was remarkable,” said Gordon. “They were looking around, smiling, seeing all of the other girls dressed up like them and having a great night.”