Sunday, May 12, 2013

8th Grade Dance Jungle Theme

For the past few weeks all of my creative energy has been put into converting the gym at my son's middle school into a jungle in preparation for the 8th grade dance.  For several years now the PTA has sponsored an 8th grade dance like no others.  They transform the gym into a scenic event.  From the invites to the decorations, no detail is left undone.  So the bar has been set pretty high.

This year, we decided on a jungle theme.  After a lot of internet searches and discussions, we came up with the decorations to help with the transformation.  Many parents were involved with helping make sure the details were in place!  We had several religious ed classes help make tissue paper flowers, several parents helped make trees, with the Dad's putting together the bases and the Mom's making the bark out of cardboard and kraft paper.  My brother helped out by getting us boxes from work!  The trees were the focal point, without them we would have had a hard time with the illusion.  My husband has been very patient with me as I tapped into his engineering skills to help create the bases for the trees and the waterfall.  With my vision and his braun and brains, the inspiration came to life!

Everything came together so well.  The outpouring of help from the parents really helped make the event spectacular.  Evening knowing in advance we would need 2000 balloons blown up didn't thwart many people!  Luckily, smart thinking parents brought air compressors to help make the job a little more manageable.  It took us 12 hours to put together, working late into the night Friday night and most of the afternoon Saturday to add the finishing touches.  The sad part was that it only took 90 minutes to have it all down and in the garbage pile at the end of the night!!  

Having a vision is one thing, having the support and help from the parents made the event successful.  I am truly grateful for the support!! At the risk of forgetting someone (please forgive me), special thanks to the following people for their support in planning/coordinating and/or providing props for the event: David Lau, Janine and Pat Ward, Anita (the invites looked great!) and Nick Vigilante, Caroline Wilkinson, TC and Tony Menolascino, Dorka Ortiz, Maria and Jerry Janoz, JeNyce and Angel Lopez, Jan Martin (thanks for organizing the chaperones), Carol Raimondi, Jamie Pecoraro, Tania Bays and Laura Calderisi.  And thanks to Cathy Jaras, Mary Byrne, Marlene and Bob Scheibl, Mary Pat and Dave Wahlgren, Jennifer Finner, Angela McGovern, Wyatt Wilkinson, Kristi French, Lisa Aubry, Judy Conness, Sherri Dryden and Wayne Waller for helping set-up and/or tear-down the decorations.

the moon, created by Maria and Jerry Janosz

the paper mache monkey

the cafe area

entry way

tiki hut, made by Janine and Pat Ward

Janine put together this whole entryway

Cafe, lead by Gina Pelosi and TC Menolascino

pictures of the kids on coconuts by Caroline WIlkinson
Palm trees were made by Laura Calderisi

picture from the stage at the whole gym; the four trees in the middle outlined the dance floor

picture with no flash

the toucan, my daughters Hannah and Stephanie helped make the animals
thanks to Nick Vigilante and Pat Ward for helping to put together the tree bases

the waterfall, made by my husband Dave
flowers made by Dorka Ortiz and Luz Chavez

close-up of the toucan

the blue macaw
ferms made by Carol Raimondi and Jamie Pecoraro

Now that the dance is over I can focus on my papercrafting again!  At least until next year when we start planning my daughter's 8th grade dance theme and party ;0)!