A Little Something Extra

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By: Beverly Jenkins <bjenkins@hilite.org>

It can be a night to remember, and people like junior Mikayla Mandell hope that this year’s prom will be spectacular. “I want to see the whole room lit up and decorated, and I want to see a fun atmosphere,” Mandell said. “Last year’s theme was really great with flowers and the huge fountain and the grand entrance. It will be hard to top last year’s (prom).”

The prom committee is made up of about 15 juniors, and they are hard at work to make Mandell’s and the rest of the school’s hopes and expectations come true. The committee is using profits from the magazine fund-raiser the Class of 2008 raised during their freshman year. This year’s theme is Arabian Nights, and, according to Maureen Borto, sponsor of the prom committee and AP Block and American Literature teacher, a theme is extremely imporant.

“A theme really sets the stage for a dance,” Borto said. “A theme makes sure that every year is different and gives a distinctive feeling to prom. Without a theme, it’s just random. Having a theme gives it a little something extra.”

Elizabeth “Izzy” Landis, member of the prom committee and junior, also thinks that having a theme is an essential to prom. “(A theme) doesn’t really ever make or break a prom,” she said, “but it adds a unique aspect to (the dance). Otherwise, it’d be like Homecoming with school colors (for decorations), and that’s not what prom is about.”

As far as students who are planing to attend prom are concerned, Borto said that they don’t need to do anything differently to prepare for an Arabian night.

“There will be a song that the king and queen will dance to and decorations that go with the theme, but otherwise, it’s still same old prom,” she said. Last year’s prom king and queen song was Frank Sinatra’s “The Way You Look Tonight,” but according to Borto, there wasn’t another similar sounding song played again.

Landis said that the committee has played around with a lot of ideas for this year’s theme, including a Las Vegas theme and a masquerade theme. The theme is one of the first things decided on, since it determines most, if not all, of aesthetic aspects, such as decorations, tickets, prom court, and some songs that will be played at the dance.

“(The committee) decides on the theme, decorations, party favors, and we sell tickets too,” Landis said. “We decided on (Arabina Nights) during a brainstorming session. We were looking through magazines and catalogs that had decorations we could order from, and we based possible themes around what kind of decorations we could get and how far we could take (the theme).”

The committee is still discussing which decorations will go where and what songs will be played.

Although the committee is still putting the finishing touches on the event, Mandell said that the one thing she would have changed would be to anounce or post what the theme was to the school, since not a lot of people knew what this year’s theme was.
“I think (the Arabian Nights theme) is really great, and it’s one of the more distinctive themes that we’ve had,” she said, “but I feel like (the theme) should have been better stated.”

According to Landis, the committee does not publically announce or advertise the theme to the school, not because it is supposed to be a surprise, but because the theme is for the design of the dance floor, decorations and a few song choices; the theme should not influence in any way students attending should prepare for prom. She said that students should be more concerned with having a good time, not changing their dresses and suits in order to match the theme. “Besides,” Landis said, “eventually (the theme) gets around to most everyone.”

Because so many students were not aware of what this year’s theme was, Borto said that it is sometimes hard to tell just how much students acknowledge or even care about the aesthetic part of prom.

“Kids will hear (about the theme) and create their own opinions, but I imagine that most of the kids will go just to have a good time and hope that (the dance floor) looks nice.”

As for Landis, she said that the prom will be special no matter the theme. “I’m excited for prom,” she said, “and hopefully it will turn out the way we want it to, and we will have done a good job.”

“We have had a lot of very different themes,” Borto said. “In the past, there have been themes such as Twilight in Central Park, Jazz Quartet, and Red Carpet.”

She said that each prom theme gives an elegant, but distinctly different, feeling to prom. “When you compare those themes to something like Mardi Gras, you see why a theme is necessary.”

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