Students go all out for prom 2021
LAVILLE, Ind. - It’s the first real prom season since 2019 and teens are going all out this year after missing out on a lot in 2020 because of COVID.
Many teens plan their prom outfit months in advance and there really was no advance notice for the pandemic canceling it. Now, students are going above and beyond to make this year's prom extra special.
Prom… It’s the one night a year where students transform themselves into royalty. Decked out with corsages, tuxes and expensive gowns.
"Lots of dancing, people clapping and fun, and just having a good time," Brandon Winterrowd, a senior at Union North Schools said.
And with most events canceled in 2020...
"We haven't had a dance all year," Jodi Kayser a teacher and junior class sponsor at Union North Schools said.
Students are using this year to go all out.
"They announced that we were going to have a prom and everyone's just going crazy, like, trying to plan everything," Leah Laura, a South Bend Schools senior said.
"Oh yeah, definitely, you know, one last hurrah seniors get out there," Winterrowd said.
And “all-out” includes masks.
“I don't normally mind wearing a mask. I don't think it's that big of a deal but for prom, it is kind of a bummer because I don't know, like a lot of girls are getting their makeup done and want to look their prettiest," Laura said.
But even that is getting the special treatment.
"My friend he's wearing like a golden inside with a gold mask and then his dates were like a sparkly gold nice," Winterrowd said.
"Make your date a bow tie, and then everything kind of, you know, gets the whole look together. It's awesome," Rachel Major who works at Ashley Renee's prom shop in Granger said.
She has helped teens find the perfect dress for years.
"It's funny because some girls come in and they've never put a formal dress on, ever in their lives," Major said. "We can tell automatically the dress that they'll leave with, especially, even with the masks now we can tell that they're smiling with their faces covered just by their eyes. I've seen lots of tears from moms, but happy tears.”
With prom season underway, major remembers how hard it was to plan for an event that might not even happen.
"We kind of were limited this year, on what we could buy. We didn't know what was going to be happening in prom season," she said. "We heard our first prom day, it was officially out there and we started a whiteboard in the back of our store and we wrote down. It was so, so nice to see that whiteboard fill out booked prom dates and schools.
How many proms you ask? A lot. And not just in Indiana.
"Probably between 20 to 30 sometimes we get girls from Michigan. We get girls from Ohio, we've had girls from Tennessee just passing through and they stop in and they found their dress. So we dress girls from all over," she said.
Teens from all over, and their parents, willing to spend the big bucks.
"It's actually happening. That's actually my excuse for my mom. I tell her because we just recently went to Ashley Renee's to shop for a dress, and it's a kind of a price your dress, and I said, mom, I didn't get to spend money last year on prom. So I think we will definitely go all out," Laura said. "We're planning a limo and stuff like that just to make it more fun to go like, go bigger go home for senior prom.”
"We've seen a lot of moms and we tried to, you know, ask a budget just so that if we pull something, you know it's doable for them and we've asked them, you know, we want to make sure that we're being mindful of you and they're just like, whatever she likes. She only gets one prom so we want to make it special," Major said.
I’m told spending more is worthwhile especially for some students finally able to get out and dance.
"So some kids here haven't been in person at all this year so yeah this is the first time that you really get to be in a big group, and all be together," Kayser said. "We have some students who graduated last year who missed their prom. And so then they got to come. And then we have some underclassmen kids from other schools as well.”
It came to a point, that if the prom didn’t happen, both students and teachers would’ve stood up and demanded it.
"You would have been sad, probably try and convince the school with the covid guidelines to let us have a prom," Winterrowd said.
"It would have devastated them to have that gone again this year. I mean, cuz they had to give up so much we've been in person we've been virtually hybrid it's just these kids have rolled with the punches, you know, just all year long," Kayser said.
"It really is back to normal I think schools really did, you know, try their best to figure out what they can do to let these girls and boys have their prom," Major said.
A great weekend they did have. The next step for many is graduation. And that’s what the Learning Curve is working on for next week, so stay tuned.