Four princesses and once prince met with Princess Tiana at Duncan Elementary School Sept. 1 to learn about etiquette and having confidence.

“I just noticed that they (kids) were lacking that reassurance, that confidence, when they walk into a room. Even just introducing themselves with different things that I teach,” instructor Ciera Jackson, aka Princess Tiana, said. “They keep their heads down or they speak low or they’re not so sure. So, I thought maybe if I teach an etiquette class it’ll give them a little more confidence so maybe they’ll feel better when they walk into a room.”

They used to host two princess parties, one for older children and one for the little ones, but COVID-19 has caused them not to be able to host a party for several months.

Though the gathering was labeled as a princess party, there was much more to it than fun music, pretty dresses, crowns and yummy snacks.

“I think that most people think it’s just a princess party so we’re all just going to be in princess dresses, dancing and doing whatever girly thing, but it’s really about etiquette, how to hold a conversation and, you know, how to carry yourself,” Jackson said. “It’s open to males as well even though there’s a lot of pink. It’s simple things. Usually we go through the whole thing about pulling the chair out, putting the napkin in your lap and things like that.”

Princess Eliza Johnson, 7, attended the party dressed as Cinderella, but her favorite princess is Elena of Avalor.

“My favorite princess is Elena of Avalor because she goes on magical adventures,” Johnson said.

Jackson’s favorite princess is Princess Tiana, because she thinks they are very similar.

“We have so many things in common,” Jackson said. “The cooking class and I cook and she works hard and I work hard and then we get in a dress and we look just alike.”

She believes that the princess class helps with kids confidence because the kids are told how to act properly in social situations instead of them just guessing.

“For someone actually to tell you, to instruct you, to make eye contact, to stand with your shoulders back, to pronunciate your words,” Jackson said. “A lot of times people learn confidence from just picking it up. So no one ever tells them, ‘This is what you should do,’ so, I think that helps them out.”

She was happy to help the kids perfect their manners and gain confidence at the same time.

“My favorite part is always the kids. I love to watch them use what they just learned. So when we do our small talk I love the way they improvise those things while we’re in the class setting so when they leave I know they’re going to do it again.”