CRESTVIEW — Richbourg Exceptional Student Education School presented its prom on Friday, with guys in ties, girls in gowns, pumping dance music and lots of food.
"That was a good dance, huh?" Richbourg student Jacob Luttrell said as the lights went up. The kids had moved their hips, raised their hands or spun their wheels to the last song, Miley Cyrus' "Party in the U.S.A."
Jacob had been anticipating the prom all week, teacher's aide Heather Carmical said.
"Dancing with friends and girls is great!" Jacob said.
Earlier, Brooke Johnson spun around in her wheelchair and Crestview High School senior Alex Andrews guided her in a line dance snaking through a classroom.
Brooke's grandparents, Mark and Barbara Worthen, visiting from Illinois, beamed as their granddaughter had fun on the dance floor.
"She enjoys this every year," Barbara Worthen said. "She looks forward to it."
Twenty-one of the attendees were Richbourg students with varying emotional, learning and physical disabilities. Alex and about a dozen of his Crestview High chorus mates ensured all the Richbourg students enjoyed themselves.
"When the music plays, nobody's different,” he said. “Our goal is to have everybody get down and have a great time."
"I like coming over and helping out," Crestview High senior Natalie Wakayama said. "It's a good reward to see how happy and excited the Richbourg kids get."
"I was just glad to come out and help do it," chorus member Cameron Patterson said.
Students chowed down on barbecued meatballs, banana pudding donated by Desi's Restaurant, and cupcakes prepared by Richbourg teacher Karen Lusk's high school students.
Students’ family members, friends and school staffers donated some of the prom attire, including girls' gowns and guys' dress shirts and ties, Lusk said.
Crestview High chorus members decorated the room in a "Carnival in Rio" theme prior to the prom. Richbourg students wore small, feathered Carnival masks on their chests.
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Brian Hughes at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbBrian.