“We have a lot of fun considering how few people we have,” junior Jenna Gallant, 17, said after dancing for hours at her first high school prom.

That night 88 students – juniors, seniors and their dates – attended Dirigo High’s prom at Black Mountain ski resort in Rumford.

Dirigo is a small school of a couple hundred students in Dixfield, and the Class of 2022 is the smallest in years, with only 35 graduates. The juniors on the dance floor that night in early May were only several months into high school when the pandemic hit.

Hanna Schreiber, a 17-year-old junior, said she normally wouldn’t go to a school dance but decided to attend this one because she’s running out of opportunities to make high school memories.

“It is crazy how fast it has gone,” she said. “I’m not ready for next year.”

Students stayed on the dance floor through almost every song, circling classmates who did funny dances together and cheering them on. Toward the end of the night, Pam Doyen, who is both the high school principal and the district superintendent, crowned the king and queen, using the crowns that the Class of 2020 bought for their prom but never got to use.

Beth Edwards, a social studies and English teacher who helped organize the prom, said it made her happy to see her students having a normal high school experience after two years of anything but.

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Junior Jenna Gallant, 17, does her friend Emma MacFarlane’s, 17, makeup while Kallie Errington, 17, has her hair straightened by her older sister before Dirigo High School’s prom.

Grace Robbins adjusts her earrings in the mirror at her home in Dixfield, where she hosted her friends to get ready for the prom on May 7.

From left, Logan Timberlake, 16, a sophomore, Bode Gray, 18, a junior, and Joe Conron, 16, a junior, pose in front of the car Conron drove for the big night before Dirigo High School’s prom.

Emma MacFarlane, Abbygayl Stevens, Kallie Errington, Jenna Gallant and Grace Robbins get ready to show their parents their dresses at Robbins’ house, before heading off to the prom.

Parents and guardians take photos of Dirigo High School friends before they head to the prom together.

Junior Grace Robbins, 17, left, and senior Abbygayl Stevens, 18, pose for a photo in front of Robbins’ dad’s race car before Dirigo High School’s prom.

Jessica Robbins fixes the train of her daughter Grace’s dress.

Junior Marissa Lapointe, 17, greets a friend with a hug as they arrive at Black Mountain in Rumford.

Dirigo High School students and their dates line up for the Grand March, a school tradition where all of the students line up and are announced as they walk into the prom.

Students begin to dance as the prom starts.

Alexis Coty, 16, a sophomore, and Carlito Cepeda, 17, a junior, dance.

Junior Marissa Lapointe, 17, and her date, Gabe Mason, 16, walk into the prom after being announced in the Grand March.

Senior Ava Hood, 18, and Hunter Ladd, 19, pose for a portrait before Dirigo High School’s prom.

Mason Ducharme, 18, a junior, and Lauren Tubbs, 16, a sophomore, sit at one of the tables at the start of the prom.

Senior Travis Ryerson laughs as Julie Melanson gives him a hug. Melanson and her husband came to the Grand March to watch their granddaughter, but also to see the many children whom Melanson had cared for in her local day care over the years. Ryerson is one of them.

Students do the YMCA dance.

 

Students take a break from dancing.

Jenna Gallant, 17, and Bender Doeleman, 16, dance together.

Senior Abby Thibodeau reacts as she is announced as Dirigo High School’s prom queen.

Students laugh as senior Lucas Micks, right, and junior Bode Gray jokingly do a dance together.

Sophomore Logan Timberlake helps senior Lucas Micks with his prom king sash.

Two couples dance together at the end of Dirigo High School’s prom.

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