- Associated Press - Monday, May 19, 2014

MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) - Nick Richards was the first one on the dance floor.

Southside High School’s prom had barely begun and Richards, 18, had already taken off his tux jacket and was jumping around to Daft Punk, his baseball cap turned backward, his “Prom Court 2014” sash on display.

“One more time/Music’s got me feeling so free/We’re gonna celebrate/Celebrate and dance so free.”

It wasn’t long before others joined him.

“I just want everybody to have fun!” the jovial senior told The Star Press (http://tspne.ws/1jvbtn8 ), adjusting his purple bow tie. “We want to go out with a bang, you know? We want to say we had the best prom in Muncie.”

That’s because it would be the last.

This fall, the school will merge with Central High School.

But behind the glittery masks at this masquerade themed “Save the Last Dance,” there were no tears. There were only smiles, laughter and some sweet dance moves.

“Introducing Maya Doss, escorted by Braxton Kirby.”

As couples made their way Saturday night into the ballroom at Cornerstone Center for the Arts, their names were announced over the music. They stopped, in the middle of a white wooden bridge in front of a flower fountain, for a quick photo, the young men steadying their dates on new higher-than-usual heels.

Doss, 16, is a junior at Central.

“I am really honored to be at this event,” she said, holding onto the arm of Kirby. “It’s really something special.”

A record number of students snagged pre-sale tickets, according to dance sponsor and Southside choir director Nathan Jones.

“We had 320 students get tickets,” he said. “It’s the highest number of tickets sold in 11 years.”

That’s a lot of prom dresses, up-dos and satin vests. Not to mention photos.

Story Continues →