Reviewing a Night Under the Stars

Prepared to witness inappropriate teenage dancing and uncomfortable sparkly clothing, I was hesitant to purchase tickets for my senior prom—speculating that a night in with fried snacks would be more pleasant. But despite the alarmingly sweaty mass of human beings grinding behind me on the dance floor, I had an amazing time dancing my heart out and chatting with the friends I’ve made over the past four years.

Arriving at the Seal Beach venue about half an hour after the prom had started, my group of friends and I had no problem entering the building. After walking in, however, it was initially difficult to find something to do—the dance floor was still empty that early in the night, and the lines for the activities and photos were far too long. Instead, I opted for socializing, chatting with friends while enjoying the decorations and country club scenery.

The Old Ranch Country Club is beautiful, overlooking fountains, a variety of colored lights and a large golf course. While it was chilly outside, I appreciated the option to walk around inside and outside the building, as well as on the elegant staircase leading to the karaoke room.

The karaoke itself, however, was a little disappointing. The singular stage made anyone who wanted to sing the center of attention, preventing smaller groups of friends from venturing toward the microphone. After being unable to find any songs we liked from the offerings, my friends and I moved on, instead finding a home on the now occupied dance floor.

While I wasn’t  a fan of the rap music being played, I spent most of my evening on the outskirts of the dance floor, pointedly avoiding the unsightly chaos in the middle, while still enjoying dancing with my friends. My only grievance was the small size of the dance floor, the relatively small surface area forcing hundreds of sweaty teenagers into an increasingly humid space. The almost unbearable heat made it necessary to leave the dance floor numerous times throughout the night, escaping to the water dispensers outside to cool off every so often.

Unfortunately, other than sitting and chatting, there didn’t seem to be much else to do. The boba bar ran out of boba around 9 p.m., and the line for tarot card readings was too long to pique my interest. I enjoyed the flipbook station, but the activity only took about five minutes. While the foosball and air-hockey tables seemed exciting, the limited number of tables meant that they were consistently occupied throughout the night.

However, one of the least-noticed aspects of the dance proved to be favorite part of the night. The jazz band playing outside was incredibly impressive, with a group of underclassmen playing oldies and pop music in front of a small dance floor. Though  the floor stayed empty most of the night, the band finally garnered some much-deserved attention near the end of the night, capturing my heart with the bizarre mash-up of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas” and the 2007 classic “Crank That (Soulja Boy).”

As an enthusiastic extrovert, I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to chat with the people I’ve met throughout high school, enjoying the provided communal space to dance and socialize. Despite my aching feet, I had a wonderful time at my last prom, finding myself disappointed when my night under the stars was over.