High school seniors dance just under the wire News of storm didn't keep them home

March 16, 1993|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Staff Writer

"Let's dance" took on a new sense of urgency for Westminster High's seniors Friday.

With storm clouds gathering and blizzard conditions impending, most of the seniors spent their day off listening to weather reports and hoping they wouldn't hear a cancellation of their traditional dinner dance.

"We had to know by noon or earlier, if we were going to cancel," said Janet Kelly, faculty adviser to the senior class.

Weather forecasters promised that the snow wouldn't fall in any earnest until after midnight -- an hour after the last song would play at the dance. After frequent consultations, advisers, administrators and dance planners decided to take a chance.

Once the chefs at Turf Valley Country Club started preparing the meal, there was no turning back; the 250 students were committed to their $20-a-plate evening.

Apparel took an all-weather bent as students came prepared for the worst.

The young ladies mixed traditional velvet, lace or satin and beaded evening bags with sturdy snow boots and heavy mittens.

Instead of asking dad for the keys to the sportier cars, the young gentlemen opted for the family wagons and four-wheel-drive vehicles.

Along with "have fun" wishes, parents packed bags of sand, de-icer sprays, chains for tires and flashlights for the vehicles before they ventured out.

"My dad made me take warm clothes and sleeping bags," said Chris Maynard. "He gave me his credit card, too, in case we had to stay overnight at Turf Valley."

A few events on the evening's packed agenda had to be shortened.

"We wanted to make sure we got everything in for the class, just in case it started snowing early," said Cal Bloom, one of the chaperons. "We figured if it started to get bad, we would send the kids home."

The tossed salad may have gotten lost in the shuffle, he said. It never appeared on the tables. Diners went right from fruit to main course.

A video presentation of high schools ended mid-reel with a command, "Time to dance."

Couples twisted past the windows to catch a glimpse of the sky. Chaperons did double duty and made frequent trips outside.

Mr. Bloom said he set off minor alarm bells with a bogus announcement of "two inches on the ground already."

Before leaving the dance floor, most celebrants swapped elegant footwear for nonskid soles.

No one had to trip the light fantastic through the snow, though.

The evening ended and most cars were back in the family driveways before the first flake hit the ground.

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