PIPA hosts first Kiddie Valentine’s Day Prom
Photo by Tevin Stinson
BY TEVIN STINSON
The tumbling mats at Positive Image Preforming Arts (PIPA) were rolled up and the red carpet was rolled out last Friday evening as 100 children attended the organizations first annual Kiddie Valentine’s Day Prom.
The event held at the PIPA headquarters on North Patterson Avenue was designed to teach young ladies and gentlemen how to dress up, manners, etiquette, and how to socially interact without using a cell phone or iPad. Complete with three separate dance floors for children in pre-school, elementary, and middle school, and a live performance from local recording artist Young Reid, the Kiddie Prom had everything you would expect to see at a traditional high school prom.
PIPA owner Courtney Porter said she decided to host the event after coming across a photo of her cousin attending a similar event in 1953 with the local Jack and Jill Chapter. Porter said, “There once was a time where boys and girls would dress up for dances, cotillions, and ball and it was OK.
“It wasn’t considered to be grown or inappropriate. These were events that were tailored to teach our boys and girls how to be classy. Unfortunately, there are not many opportunities to get dressed up, but we felt like this was a perfect opportunity to do so.”
Although many of the children attending the prom were PIPA members, by partnering with five local schools, and with the help of a committee of seven volunteers, 30 tickets were donated to non-PIPA members. According to Porter, they were also able to provide dresses for every girl who needed one. Porter said it feels good to give back to the community that helped her become the woman she is today. She said growing up she always knew she wanted to do something impactful.
“The value of kindness is priceless. You can give back those types of things that don’t cost money but mean the world to someone else,” said Porter. “That’s why I feel it’s important to use the things I have to bless other people.”
While taking a break from the dance floor to enjoy a quick snack with his daughter Samantha, Vince Wilkins said the kiddie prom was great idea.
“I think events like this builds confidence and shows the kids they can be and do anything they want to be,” said Wilkins. “It’s great that the children get to see each other dressed up. It is always them to see each other in a positive light. We definitely need more events like this one.”