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Prom Traditions


Prom Traditions

Prom is actually a shortened version of the word promenade, and the simple definition that the dictionary gives us is that a promenade dance is a black tie gathering of high school students that signifies the closing of a school year. Both juniors and seniors typically attend the dance and it is considered to be one of the major events to occur during a school year because it is the first real adult social event for teenagers, where their parents are entrusting them with responsibility, which is a huge milestone in a young adult’s life. Spring, for them, is not only a time for the recovery of all things, but also the key to an important moment. We all know what the real deal is: prom. All the glitz and glamour of high school come together in one last dance before exams begin, with graduation just around the corner. Amazingly, the dance party has been around for centuries, and while each generation has its own innovations, many of the same points and traditions remain the same. Most traditions involve dates, prom dresses, tuxedos, dinner and dancing.

Pre-Prom Group Photos

The start of prom night usually starts with a group photo. Teens, dating or not, usually meet in larger groups before dinner and dancing. This is an opportunity for close friends to take photos together and create new memories. If you plan to take pictures yourself, look for public places with beautiful backgrounds or obtain prior permission to use private places.

1. Photos Spots

Popular gathering places include:  Someone's house,  local park,  beach,  gazebo,  fountain, bridge.   

2. Get Organized

Pick a specific time to take photos and make sure all your friends and their parents are aware of the plan. Allow at least half an hour to an hour to take photos, depending on the size of the group. This is usually the only time parents are involved in prom night activities. Parents usually take pictures once the dates and groups have been collected. Try taking pictures of your parents alone, so parents can share the photos on social media for other family members to see. Then you can experiment with different serious and silly poses with your friends.

3. Hire Professionals

Some groups choose to hire professional photographers to ensure that everyone gets great photos and equal attention. Before hiring someone, check to see if your prom will have a photographer. If you can pay for professional photos at the prom, it's probably easier and cheaper than hiring a photographer. The photographer can choose the location, the specific photo you want will be listed, and the pose will be correct.

Prom Night Dinner Plans

If your dance includes dinner, you will go straight after taking the photo. This is more common if the dance is held in an event center or ballroom. Dinner can take an hour or two and can be a meal you choose in advance or a buffet.

If your prom doesn't include a sit-down dinner, many teens make dinner plans with their date or group. The main options for prom dinners are:

Make a reservation at a fancy restaurant. In this case, make sure you arrive on time so they don't abandon your table.

Stop by a fast food restaurant or diner. These places don't require reservations, are great for last-minute planning, are more affordable, and make for fun photo ops where teens are all dressed casually.

Have a light meal at home. One person hosts a dinner party at home, and everyone brings a dish to share for a family-style family meal.

Going to the Dance

Dancing is the most common part of the prom, but for those of us who feel a little embarrassed on the dance floor, preparing for an all-night dance can be a little nerve-wracking. Even though it seems like everyone around you really enjoys showing off their moves, many of your peers are probably just as anxious about dancing as you are. Dancing in front of a large group can be intimidating, but the most important thing to remember is to be yourself. Feeling anxious about dancing at prom? Here are 6 easy ways to keep your cool before you bust a move.

1. There’s No Right Or W..Just Move!

I know we've all seen instructional dance movies a thousand times now, but you don't have to worry about what people think about your dance moves. You might feel like everyone is looking at you, but trust me, they're not. At the end of the day, what matters is that you have fun with your best friend and stay true to yourself.

2. Know How to Find the Beat.

If there's one thing that instantly makes you feel more comfortable on the floor, it's knowing how to find the beat. Don't be nervous - it's as easy as 1, 2, 3, 4. Count, clap your hands to get your body in rhythm, and start moving or stepping from side to side. You can keep it small and simple with your feet or buttocks. Once you've got it down, feel free to add some shoulder or hand movement and relax...or don't! You can always keep a low profile. Following the beat isn't a hard and fast rule, but it will guide you if you feel lost.

3. Consider Studying Before the Big Night.

If you want to review or learn some new moves, you don't have to worry about finding a professional dance class—everyone is at your fingertips. Head over to YouTube to watch some experts break down their best moves and practice them in your room. It's by no means a requirement -- and your rendition doesn't have to be perfect -- but having a move in your back pocket might come in handy.

4. Don't be afraid to be a little weird.

Chances are you won't be the only one feeling a little awkward on the dance floor, so embrace it! Prom night is about relaxing, and sometimes it just takes one person to let their weird flag fly and make everyone feel like they can — and dance like — be their truest, freest selves.

5. Remember: Prom is for fun!

Prom night may be the last time of the year you and your classmates celebrate together, so it sounds obvious, but focus on the fun! No one will remember how you looked on the dance floor, no matter how stupid you feel. Make your prom night your best experience. If that means sweating like a fool on the dance floor, great. If that means staying on the sidelines with your friends because even the thought of dancing can stress you out, that's fine for you. This is your prom - you be you!

What To Do After Dance

For many teens, prom is an all-night event. After dinner and dancing, teens look for other ways to keep the fun and spend more time together before graduation. These post-prom activities are planned by parents and teachers or groups of teens.

Some schools, parent organizations, or community clubs often host some after-prom parties in the school building. These events begin immediately after the dance and feature organized events, snacks, and sweepstakes. Events are usually free. Teachers and parents volunteer to plan and accompany, and parties can last until 8 am. Participating teens are usually required to stay for the entire event, which can include a quiet area for those who are ready to sleep. Besides, teens can organize their after-prom parties in one’s home.