A Prom Night Dripping in Luxury!


Cindy Cook

Senior students Austin Wagganer and Ruben Benitez wrapped up in the conga line that formed at one point in the night, and remained for several minutes.

Abigail Stookey, Writer

Prom is always one of the most highly anticipated events of the school year. Whether you plan to attend or not, it’s on everyone’s minds, on the announcements, around the walls and words of the school at large. Sophomores are brought in as servers; the Juniors with the highest candy sales help decorate in the days leading up to dance, and of course Seniors plan the grand finale of their high school careers. Students of nearly every grade are involved, and after the abrupt end to the last school year, perhaps this normal of a Prom could be taken as a sign of the return to a normal world.

Dripping In Luxury was the Prom theme this year, proposed by Junior students Emma Lewis and Lily Penwell. After winning over several other suggestions, the pair then headed up the decoration process in the three days leading up to Prom, directing their fellow Juniors and a few overseeing teachers in creating the stunning scene that our own high school gym was transformed into. When the night of Prom came upon us, their hard work showed itself strong; the gym was unrecognizable under drapes of golden fabric, lights hidden behind glowing like stars from beneath the folds, tables glittering with in their own glowing lights and golden jewels. Other than the Blackcat mural left uncovered on the walls above, there was nothing to say the gym wasn’t truly a ballroom.

After arriving at Prom in a bright blue party bus—alongside several other students—Patrick Sikes (12), Lexie Stamp (12), Levi Robinson (12), and Gabby McFadden (9) lined up outside their ride for pictures. (Cindy Cook)

The doors formally opened at 7 PM on April 24th.  Students soon began to arrive in varying levels of extravagance, such as Junior students Paxton Clark and Micah Heisler arriving in a firetruck, or Austin Monroe (11) somehow acquiring a Cherokee Pass brush truck to drive him up. One particularly large group of friends even had a party bus as their ride! While not everyone cared to go all out with their outfits for the night, plenty of students were dressed with an extravagance to match the decorations of Prom itself, with boys in a rainbow of colorful suits, and girls in sparkling dress that ranged from simply cut to flowing gowns.  There were even a few students breaking the social conventions of which gender should wear what with their outfits for the night!

Jayda Saffel (12) on her way towards the food tables during the night’s dinner. (Cindy Cook)

Prom itself was the regular affair of loud music and fancy food.  Many of the the attendees were intermittently out on the dancefloor—though some understandably chose otherwise—having the the time of their lives to whatever new song the DJ played. From time to time Sophomore servers could be seen darting between the tables, taking orders for drinks and occasionally bringing around samples of food. The collection out on the dancefloor shifted throughout the night between slow dances to wild as a party, a conga line even forming at one point!

Eventually, time came for the king and queen coronation. Everyone returned to their seats, a pause came as photos were taken of the candidates, and then they were finally brought under the glowing pavilions in pairs. First Houston Bradford and Loren Kinkead, followed by Colton Francis and Larissa Kemp, Josiah White and Stella Steck, Ruben Benitez and Laci Francis, and finally Brayden Lee and Lexie Stamp all walked up to the stage where a set crowns awaited the chosen pair. Voting had already taken place over the course of the night, a form sent out over Google for the students to fill, and now it was a simple wait for the last stragglers to lock in their votes, and the final tally to be counted.

Winners of the Prom king and queen vote, Seniors Brayden Lee and Laci Francis, share a lone dance before the other candidates join them. (Abigail Stookey)

After a suspenseful minute or so, Julianna Miller (11) made the announcement to the crowd at large, revealing Brayden Lee and Laci Francis as the winners for the king and queen votes. Cheers went around, and the pair shared a lone dance before the stage—as per tradition—with Laci notably dipping the much taller Brayden mid-dance. Eventually they were joined by the other candidates, though the following formal slow dance didn’t last long before the boys ended up opting to dance with each other instead, making a show of it and having a blast.

Prom itself didn’t carry on much longer after the coronation, now approaching the late hours of the night as servers handed out leftover candy to the remaining guests. Most everyone was well on their way by 10 PM; some were headed home, others likely out with friends. For many, however, there was still the afterparty to attend, and after leaving behind overcoats or replacing heels with more practical footwear, those who had chosen to attend gathered at the armory. There more casual food was had and games were played, from a Nintendo Switch setup in a corner to bouncy obstacle course in a another. Giveaways were held for everything from gift cards, blankets, laptops and airpods, and most everyone remained until well after midnight. Plenty of the leftover candy was given out to the last stragglers of the night, and with that the Prom of 2021 came to a close.

In only a few weeks we will be saying goodbye to this year’s Seniors as they graduate, moving on to the wider world, whether their chosen path be work, college, or military. With the question hanging over our heads the entire year of whether we would be suddenly plunged back in the quarantine world or not, the question could also be asked if Prom was going happen at all. But after all this we can appreciate that we got to give this year’s Seniors this finale to their high school careers, a luxury last year’s Seniors didn’t have. May they all have their luck in the wider world, as we finally begin to return to normal.