Even though I’m a few years removed from the prom scene, I remember my senior prom fondly and it will always hold a memorable place in my heart. My school was a classic education liberal arts preparatory academy, with only 55 students in my senior class, and the junior class was only marginally larger. This made for a very unusual prom experience; certainly not the kind most high schoolers think of. Between required ballroom dancing lessons, a band in lieu of a deejay, and mandatory dinner as part of the entire package, my prom was different but magical nonetheless.
Ballroom dancing and Tango?! Why yes!
My school was actually featured with photos and an article in my state’s newspaper, the Arizona Republic, about our required ballroom dancing lessons. In the weeks leading up to prom, we were required to attend at least a few hour-long ballroom dancing lessons after school, right in our cafeteria. The in-school location plus the fact that they were free, as our school hired dancing instructors, made them super convenient to attend.
I had fun with my classmates learning how to tango and waltz, and plus, I now know how to properly dance at weddings and other sophisticated events. Score. By the time prom actually rolled around, we were all able to dance well, and with each other too! Our dance lessons had been integrated–meaning we practiced with a wide variety of people, not just our dates. We were able to dance with our dates, friends, and even acquaintances and classmates. It felt special and close-knit, and I smile in remembrance as I write about it.
Forget the DJ, we had a real live band!
We had the most adorable live band instead of a deejay. For the first half, they played classic, slower music, allowing us to put those dance lessons to the test. They slowly transitioned into more contemporary songs, before putting on a tape of current pop songs for the last hour or so. We got the best of both worlds–the elegance of ballroom dancing, and the typical party pop music too. The band’s presence, alongside the beautifully decorated tables, made our experience feel almost more like a wedding. It was different than any other prom I’d ever heard of or attended, but I loved it. It was different yet enriching and enjoyable in several ways.
Elegant dinner, together!
Our prom was hosted at a country club, which meant eating dinner at the venue was part of the package. I knew from attending a few other school’s proms that it’s common to go out to dinner in a group before the actual dance, so I was interested to see how this was going to work. We were seated at beautifully decorated tables right in the ballroom where we danced, which added to the wedding-ish vibe of the whole night.
We were served an elaborate three-course meal, listened to toasts given by our classmates, and enjoyed the sense of togetherness. Lots of bonding indeed. The dinner aspect definitely made our tickets more expensive and our schedules tighter, but I wouldn’t have traded it for a different kind of evening or experience.
So, prom-party-people, immerse yourself in the carefree moments together with your classmates, and the joy of being young and celebrating the end of high school. It’s a big deal, and you deserve to celebrate it in the most positive and beautiful way possible. Prom is without a doubt one of my favorite high school memories. My wish for you this prom season is that your own is memorable, magical, everything you want it to be and more.