GONZALES -- Two-year-old Addison Comeaux met her favorite princess of all time, Belle from “Beauty and the Beast.”
Comeaux was one of 43 campers who spent the week dressing up, playing games and learning all things related to the art of being a princess.
“It’s all she talked about, all week,” said her mother, Paige, adding that she took a picture with Belle, who visited their class on the first day.
That picture, Comeaux said, serves as the cover of her Princess Handbook, another project the campers, ages 2 to 6, worked on during the week.
The Comeauxs came Friday to watch Addison and her new friends perform a couple of royal musical numbers, and before the show began, Addie was a little fidgety.
“I don’t think she’s feeling well today,” her mom said.
But as soon as the show began, Addie, like the other girls in the show, drew on their princess power to perform perfect curtsies, followed by — what else? The princess wave.
“It’s definitely one of our more popular camps,” said Linda Schexnaydre, who owns and operates Center Stage Performing Arts Academy with her husband, Larry.
You’d think a princess camp would trigger prima donna attitudes more often than not, but Schexnaydre said that’s far from the case.
“On the first day, everyone’s sitting in the circle, not really sure who they should talk to,” she said. One of the first things they do, she said, is introduce the campers to actors playing the role of a princess.
“When they see that, their jaws drop, and that’s it, they’re interested,” she said. And, they ask questions, Schexnaydre said. Lots of questions.
What’s life like in a castle? What do princesses eat? Does the Beast still look like the Beast?
“There’s never a dull moment at princess camp,” camp counselor Mary Kate Hutchinson said.
But the camp is also good for her counselors, many of whom take lessons at Center Stage themselves. It helps them keep their own performing skills polished over the summer, she said.
Before the show ended, each princess had to walk — as gracefully as possible in princess high heels — to the front of the audience to receive the culmination of their week of fun. That included a certificate, a camp T-shirt, and the princess handbook they’d spent the week coloring and compiling. Some found it difficult to juggle all three items and wave like a princess at the same time.
“It’s hard work being a princess,” Schexnaydre said.
For more information on Center Stage summer camps, visit http://centerstagepaa.com/ or call (225) 644-4242. Ascension Section writer