This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
SALT LAKE CITY — It may be a place for politics, but Friday night, the Utah State Capitol rotunda was meant for dancing.
Hundreds of students from four online schools, Utah Connections Academy, Utah Virtual Academy, Mountain Heights Academy and Utah Online, came together for a combined prom.
Utah Connections Academy teacher Calli Ward said these interactions are crucial for her students.
“We want to encourage that face-to-face interaction and we do believe that's important,” she said.
Ward said many of these students know each other through class chat rooms, but nothing beats the excitement of prom.
"I just love seeing students come together,” she said “To see them interact and the personalities come out."
Student A.J. Heath said he enjoys signing off and communicating with his peers in person.
“During school you just see the names but at prom night you can put the names of the faces,” he said.
Allexis Bonacci said she had never met her date before Friday night. They have online classes together, but live in different cities.
“He came from La Sal, so he came from far away just for this,” she said. “I've never met him before in my life."
Bonacci and her date were voted prom king and queen. School officials say this is the fourth year they’ve joined for a prom. Organizers said Friday night was such a success, they'll be bringing it back next year.