Tis the season of promposals. Sitting at a restaurant the other night, I watched a waitress deliver a nutella calzone coated in powdered sugar with “Prom?” spelled out in chocolate sauce to a teenage couple dining at a nearby table. The boy looked expectantly at the girl, who replied “yes” as neighboring diners applauded.
A promposal refers to the creative way in which many teenagers ask a date to the prom. Fashioning the perfect element of surprise and creating a clever promposal has added another line item to the prom to-do list.
Byram Hills High School Principal Christopher Walsh has been a party to many promposals. “I’ve been asked to bait somebody and call them down to my office. Sometimes they’re nervous because they’ve never been called to the principal before, but then someone pops out and asks them to prom. I’m always happy to be part of that but I think there is a limit to it and it should all be done in good fun. I’ve heard of students renting aircrafts, arranging skywriting and getting really creative. It’s always interesting for me to hear about them,” he says.
Say Yes to The Dress: The Prom Version
For some girls, the dress is chosen long before they know their date. Once a dress is purchased, the trend in recent years has been for girls to lay claim to their dress by posting a picture of it in a dedicated Facebook group for the girls of the senior class. This ensures that no one wears the same dress. These Facebook posts begin as early as January. Although my senior daughter and I didn’t start shopping for a dress until March, we certainly felt pressured to find and commit to something quickly.
“Shopping for prom attire was significantly easier with my son than it was with my daughter,” reports one local Armonk mom. “My son went to one tuxedo rental place where he selected everything he needed, including shoes, in under 30 minutes. My daughter, however, tried on at least 30 dresses at multiple stores before finally selecting one that had to be shipped from another country!”
Changes in Store for This Year’s Prom
Both Byram Hills High School and Horace Greeley High School are having their proms at Glen Island Harbour Club in New Rochelle. Greeley’s prom will take place on June 6th and Byram Hills’ prom will be held on June 13th. This marks a change for both schools. Since 1993, the Byram Hills prom has been at World Yacht off of Pier 82 in New York City. In past years, the Greeley prom was held at Trump National Golf Club in Briarcliff Manor.
Another change for Byram Hills is that transportation on coach buses will be provided for students from the high school to Glen Island and back to school after prom. Previously, students arranged their own transportation, often by limousine or party bus.
“One of the things I noticed when I became principal,” says Walsh, “was that the community was really detached from prom in many ways. Since the venue was on a boat in the city, many families were scattered and there were a lot of different pre-prom parties that tend to be somewhat exclusionary. I was looking for a way to make it more of a community-centered event and a safer experience for our kids. I thought we could kill two birds with one stone by having the kids arrive here on a red carpet for a school-wide pre-prom and transport them on nice coach buses to and from the prom.”
While some students have expressed disappointment that the prom will no longer be in the city, most are looking forward to this rite of passage with great anticipation.
“I’m excited to see how it all comes together at the end…it’s going to be great to all leave from the school because our whole grade gets a pre-prom together. It’s a lot more inclusive,” says Byram Hills senior and Grade Activities Board member, Julia Weiler.
Greeley’s change in venue comes after several years of passionate pleas from some students to move away from Trump National due to the President’s controversial comments about immigrants and minorities. Students were excited about choosing a new location and forging new traditions.
“Using both the research we collected about possible prom venues and input from the class, we chose Glen Island,” says Julia Bialek of Greeley’s Class of 2019 Executive Student Leadership Council. “We could not be more excited for prom! The location is absolutely gorgeous and, who knows, perhaps we could start our own prom legacy.”
Parents, as former prom attendees themselves, approach prom with a mix of anxiety and excitement. Knowing that prom night rarely lives up to heightened expectations, many parents hope their kids have the best time possible while most importantly, remaining safe.
Most prom-goers are excited about the after-prom parties. Prom night, however, can be dangerous with so many teenagers out on the roads late at night and the potential for drug and alcohol abuse. The atmosphere of freedom and celebration, coupled with the pressure to make prom a memorable experience, can lead kids to behave in ways they would never do in their everyday lives.
Hopefully, after speaking with promgoers seriously about behaving responsibly, parents of graduating seniors can share in this rite of passage with their children and enjoy a safe and fun prom season.