Hundreds of juniors and seniors attended the 2022 Prom, themed “Under the Stars.”
BY CARLY WITT, ’23. PHOTOS BY CARLY ROTHEGEB, ’22.
Every year, prom lurks in the back of students’ minds for months: the anticipation of getting an outfit, taking pictures and prom proposals. Students count down the days until they get to dance the night away with friends at a beautiful venue. This year’s prom, themed “Under the Stars,” has been long-awaited after the two years of prom being affected by COVID-19.
As last year’s prom was seniors only—in order to keep capacity down—this year’s dance was especially unique because it was both the juniors’ and the seniors’ first UAHS prom.
Senior Kamryn Rushin attended prom this year but wishes special accommodations were made for seniors.
“As a senior, I think I probably enjoyed prom more because it was my last high school dance,” Rushin said. “Since we did not get to go to prom last year as juniors, I think they should have done something specifically for the seniors because we only got one prom instead of two.”
Juniors and seniors were both able to attend this year’s prom and they also both had the opportunity to participate in the early stages of the planning process.
Two forms were sent out earlier in the school year for juniors and seniors to vote on the theme and location of this year’s dance. The chosen location was the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) with the theme “Under the Stars.” That theme was selected by a student vote, where other options included Hollywood and 1920s.
The museum was reserved for April 9th and the planning began. Planning started a few months before the event and was carried out by the junior and senior class officers.
Junior class officer Katniss Weisberg was an influential part of the prom planning committee for this year.
“At our committee meetings, we made a lot of decisions about how we wanted to set up COSI, everything from the playlist to the table centerpieces had to be decided on,” Weisberg said.
Students had access to the first floor and mezzanine of the museum with the ocean exhibit and planetarium open for exploration. There was a room for dessert and tables for students to sit at as well. The dance floor was close to where students entered, being the first thing visible as students walked in.
The planetarium had shows running every 30 minutes, showing “Dark Universe,” narrated by Neil DeGrasse Tyson. COSI’s planetarium is the largest in the state with a 60 foot dome and a five projection system. Students were allowed to move in and out of the space as they wanted, and many chose to sit back and watch the display of the solar system.
The dance floor was positioned near the entrance with several tables around the edges of the room and the DJ booth at the front of the room, where some of the music playing was selected by the planning committee with student input.
“My favorite part of the process was making a Spotify playlist because it was really cool to have the opportunity to sort of lace it with my own tastes,” Weisberg said.
Attendees were also handed a small coaster map of the COSI areas open to them that also served as a scavenger hunt. Prom planners worked hard to make sure all student needs were met by including spaces to dance and also space to sit and talk or opportunities to explore the museum.
“The two issues we went back and forth the most were on having a sort of scavenger hunt and having some souvenir, both of which we did…. Kind of. The coaster with the map kind of served as both a souvenir and scavenger hunt of sorts,” Weisberg said.
There were also planning difficulties when it came to the monetary side of planning every detail out for the event.
“My least favorite part was thinking about ticket sales and ticket pricing. I really hate selling things and making people pay large amounts of money for things. No one would give us all the free money we needed though so of course a pricing plan had to happen,” Weisberg said.
There also was a change in the time of the dance as in past years, dinner has been served, and the event started earlier in the evening. This year, dinner was not served, so students had to make dinner reservations of their own. Students were also responsible for finding and paying for their parking.
“I was kind of confused on why we had to pay for parking even though the tickets were $45. I don’t mind paying the $5, but I thought that could’ve been included at the very least,” junior Hunter Rapp said.
Students were instructed to park in a garage across the street from COSI, where they just had to take an elevator and walk up the stairs to COSI to enter, but did still have to pay five dollars.
Although this year posed many changes and challenges to the traditions of prom, students were able to get dressed up, dance and enjoy the night they had waited so long for.
“Overall, I thought prom was really fun and it was my favorite dance that I went to,” Rushin said. “What made it better is that instead of everyone congested on the dance floor, people could go to exhibits, or talk in other places.”