EARLIER this month students from Trident’s special education centre joined together to dance the afternoon away with students from Tarawera, Opotiki, St Joseph’s and James Street at their very own school ball.

Trident teacher aid Michelle Mitchel says the students see the mainstream ball and all want to have the same experience. “It’s all we hear about for weeks,” Michelle says.

“They talk about getting their hair and nails done and asking each other ‘what are you wearing’, it’s a massive celebration for the students.”

There were many highlights on the day, as the girls had their makeup and hair done by students from Toi Ohomai and the boys looked sharp in their suits.

One Trident student, Katie, says she loved having her hair and makeup done by the Toi Ohomai students and another, Mihi, says her highlight was the amazing food and dancing with her friends.

“We really got to watch the students come out of their shell. They were dancing and laughing and completely enjoying themselves … you see a completely different side to them,” Michelle says.

“We see the students from Tarawera and Opotiki at the special Olympics so it’s like old friends coming together, it was so much fun.”

Some students had their caregivers attend the ball too. Michelle says a lot of students don’t get opportunities like this so it was amazing to have family and friends gather for such a great afternoon.