Prom Review: The Secret Garden

Hannah Lee, News Editor

I’ve always had a cynical attitude towards school dances. If I were to go back to freshman year and tell myself I would be going to prom my junior year, I probably would have laughed it off. Now that I’ve experienced it, what I’ve taken from this is that these types of events are very subjective.

Even with the same venue and the same activities, everyone has a completely different experience. Some may view the dance itself as the best part, while others simply enjoy the company of the people around them, which is the very reason that I can’t say I didn’t have a memorable experience.

Held at the Wallis Annenberg Hall, the rose garden directly outside the venue was a perfect take on the “Secret Garden” theme. The garden was scenic and unique, with several gazebos and a large fountain in the center; however, we only spent a couple minutes actually walking through the rose garden since it was getting dark and it  officially closed  at sunset.

Though I lost my date for half an hour because of the search and pat down, which seemed to have been a common occurrence for many couples, the check in was relatively quick with multiple tables set up to give out wristbands.

We made our way into the venue, which was interestingly an airplane hangar with arching ceilings. The back side was lined with tables with a variety of  self-serve drinks and  small desserts,  the main dance floor was situated in  a  small area in the front, and  the rest of the space was filled with chairs and tables. Most people, including myself, seemed to be  drawn more toward sitting  than dancing.

Intially,  the room  was slightly underwhelming because it was so empty, but the atmosphere began to liven up as more and more students arrived.

Since it was my first high school dance, there were several things that surprised me. I expected to be standing around in line for possibly hours for photos, but there were multiple photo booths available throughout the venue, including standard photo strips and holographic photos that were made into luggage tags or magnets. Photos were also essentially unlimited, so we were able to go back multiple times for more photos. However, what didn’t surprise me was the trashy, generic dance music being played that drove me even farther  away from the dance floor.

In place of dancing, we spent majority of the night in the “additional entertainment room,” where multiple photo booths with various props that made for cute printed photo strips, a karaoke station where students sang all night a song of their choice for everyone in the room, overcrowded pool tables and a rather interesting oxygen station where various flavors of “mood changing” oxygen were available. We also had a chance to go upstairs but only found another photo booth, a henna tattoo station and an overview of the main dance floor.

Ultimately, the night was what we made it to be; maybe it would have been different if I was the type to  dance, but the actual prom itself consisted of aimlessly strolling around, which I personally didn’t mind. Though my favorite moments were from the casual before and after activities, I still can say that prom was an unforgettable experience. But perhaps my night would have been dull if it weren’t for the genuinely great, quirky people I spent it with.