John LeBlanc has seen the evolution of the Loyola College Prep’s annual style show honoring high school seniors — from participating as a student in the 1980s to now serving as the school’s principal. In 66 years, the annual event has come a long way from a ladies’ luncheon to a full-fledged fashion show at the Shreveport Convention Center and this year, the Style Show themed “Snoopy Goes to Space” is ready to take the audience out of this world for two hours of dancing and entertainment.
“When I was a student, we actually had professional models in the show. It was done by the Mothers’ Club, which has now turned into the Parents’ Association. Everybody did the senior walk and did the alumni walk,” LeBlanc said. “In my particular senior year, I didn’t model anything but I was in a tux with another friend, and we were the ones who helped the models on and off the stage. It has definitely morphed into a different event. It’s more about showcasing and celebrating the seniors.”
BY THE NUMBERS
24 committees made up of
55 volunteers work on the event
450 approximate hours spent on decorations between Aug. 13 and Nov. 6
50 gallons of paint for decorations and sets
250 pounds of glitter
102 senior student models
1600 in attendance
25+ hours of rehearsal for students
Shan Ponthie, Elizabeth Pippin and Sallye Corbell are chairing the 66th annual Style Show. Beginning in the summer, the three collaborated on a plan and theme and have since spent countless hours preparing for the upcoming show.
“It actually started as a luncheon where ladies played bridge, drank wine and had a chance to view the latest fashions. There were professional models that modeled and I think the Mothers’ Club, at that time, actually prepared the food and served it,” Ponthie said. “Now it’s evolved into a 1,600 person attended event at the Convention Center. They could have never imagined that 66 years ago.”
Ponthie’s daughter Janie, Pippin’s daughter Rebecca, and Corbell’s daughter Ainsley Stansell all are honored as seniors in the show. But Ponthie, Pippin and Corbell have worked on the Style Show committee in the past when their other children were seniors at Loyola. Ponthie and Pippin said it’s an event the seniors anticipate starting freshman year.
The 102 seniors involved in the Style Show not only model looks from the area’s local boutiques but they also learn choreography for a number of dance routines. A portion of the show, called the Alumni Walk, is dedicated to seniors whose parents or grandparents are alumni of Loyola. This year there are 22 students participating in the tradition.
“I think it’s unique in that we honor them the way that we do. I don’t know that it’s terribly unique to have a parent that went to the same high school that you went to necessarily, but I think to seek them out and to honor them is unique to Loyola,” Ponthie said.
The largest fundraiser for the Loyola Parents’ Association, the 2017 show raised around $40,000. Funds are used for technological improvements, professional development for teachers and the community scholarship fund. In hopes of raising more funds, Ponthie said this year the Parents’ Association decided to try something different by hosting the “Snoopy Shoots for the Stars” preview party in October. The inaugural event took place at St. Vincent’s Hall on the Loyola campus and featured live and silent auctions, food and an open bar.
But it’s not just about raising funds for the school and honoring the senior class. The Style Show gives students a chance to learn about being a part of something larger than them, said LeBlanc.
“They learn cooperation. They learn patience and discipline,” he said. “Everybody has a little role and all those little roles add up to a really big role which showcases our students. And that’s what really great about it.”
WHAT: “Snoopy Goes to Space”
WHEN: Nov. 7 at 10:30 a.m. (sponsor seating and senior family seating) and 11 a.m.
(for general admission seating)
WHERE: Shreveport Convention Center,
400 Caddo St., Shreveport
TICKETS: $45 at www.lcpstyleshow2018.eventbrite.com