Students wobbled in rhinestone-studded heels, traded tuxes for T-shirts, stole away to dark corners, shared a toast of sparkling grape juice, crowned a king and queen, Harlem shook, cha-cha slid.
In the last minutes of the prom, a few soft piano chords melted out of the speakers -- the slowest song of the night so far. Girls clasped their hands around their date's necks. A few friends made sloppy waltzes around the dance floor.
In one corner, a pair swayed back and forth, at first just holding hands. Then two more joined in, then a few more and more still. The circle unfurled, and grew hand by hand to include almost every person in the room.
It seemed like what Mareshia hoped for when they started: "If we're all together and we love each other the way we say we do, then there are no issues," she said. "This is something that should have happened a long time ago."