Twenty-seven young women--all of them 16--swirled into high society, swathed in lace, satin and organza.
The fairy-tale debutante scene was the 46th annual Sweetheart Ball on Feb. 15 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, organized by the St. Nicholas Orthodox Christian Cathedral Ladies Society.
Behind the scenes at the posh hotel, the poised teens prepped for their formal debut with the kind of excitement that registers a 10 on the prom night Richter scale.
They carefully applied makeup, had their 'dos rolled, teased and combed out to perfection, primped and played in front of mirrors, and rehearsed their walk onto the stage.
Like Cinderella's, their ball was a rite of passage. Except at midnight, they continued to party on.