Most artists, teachers, and parents believe that children should be encouraged to embrace their imaginations, something they hopefully continue to do into adulthood.
For more than a decade, Oklahoma Citys historic Paseo Arts District has promoted the use of imagination by way of Saturdays annual Fairy Ball.
The event is the brainchild of Lorrie Keller, artistic director of the StarDanceSwan community arts company. Keller wanted to invite children and their parents to explore their creative side through arts-education activities.
We want to be able to provide instances to inspire children to be hands-on with a multitude of arts. They can create with flowers, move with dance and hear great music, she said.
So how does the Fairy Ball work? Its simple, and no actual pixie dust is required: The creative process begins at home, when parents help their little ones assemble unique costumes. Dressing as a magical creature like a fairy or an elf is encouraged, although flower and bug outfits are also popular. Children can create characters inspired by their attire, even giving themselves a name and a backstory if desired.
Once at the ball, children can put the finishing touches on their costumes during a time dubbed Flower Magic. Fresh flowers and multicolored ribbons are provided for them to make crowns, wings, wands and whatever else they decide to craft.
At 7:30 p.m., kids are invited to dance, with original songs performed by Steve McLinn of Ojas Music. All the dance moves are spontaneous, with no choreography or critiques.
When you hear Steves music, it will compel you to dance, and in listening to it, it shows you how to move, said Keller. With their innocence and creativity, the children really light up the ball with what they bring to it.
The community aspect makes the Fairy Ball a special experience for kids.
To be able to use their imaginations and [interact] with other children is a great thing, Keller said.