Your chance to relive the glory days of your prom is May 6 at Kennedy School. Photo courtesy of Steve Nobles.
Ah, high school memories. Looking back, I realize that the father of the family for whom I used to babysit was right when he told me to enjoy that time, as those were indeed the days of carefree glory, a time of recklessness before being thrust into the “real world”. Think about it: aside from having to wake up at an ungodly hour to go to school, most teenagers didn’t have any real problems or worries (although we sure thought we did). Our biggest concerns revolved around completing photography projects and getting to our afterschool jobs on time. The weight of the world had not yet been placed upon our shoulders and we were unknowingly free from many of life’s responsibilities.
I am from a small town and the lot of us who attended Nevada Union High School were your average teens. There were the nerds, the hicks (the kids who hung out at the Agriculture wing and were members of the Future Farmers Of America), the stoners, the jocks, etc. One thing we all agreed upon, however, was the righteousness of the ultimate high school event: prom. Prom was the granddaddy of all dances; Homecoming and Sadie Hawkins couldn’t hold a candle to it. If you were a teenage casanova like my older brother, you would definitely attend more than two proms in your high school career, but most of us stuck to our own Junior Prom and Senior Ball (because being a senior apparently instills some amount of class). Anyway, everyone would get all gussied up and we would make our way to the dance, having never seen most of our classmates in any sort of attire more formal than Guess overalls and Reebok Pumps. It was more of a social gathering in which to be seen more than it was a dance. Everyone would have their pictures taken, drink sparkling cider out of champagne flutes and then adjourn to the biggest and most rowdy after-parties.
Each time as my friends and I would leave that year’s prom, I would look at the near-empty dance floor and internally scorn my generation for not taking that part of the prom tradition more seriously. For just a few short years before us, the pioneers of the prom dance-a-thon held court and boogied the night away, dancing to Spandau Ballet’s “True” until the cows came home. I guess that was a simpler time, a time when the dance floor was the center of the action, and teenagers were working up a sweat that would drip off even the most pathetically faint mustache. That time was known as the 1980’s, when kids really knew how to prom!
Why oh why couldn’t I have been a teenager in the ‘80’s? I gladly would have sacrificed my backless Shelli Segal sheath and back-seamed pantyhose for a pink disaster with princess sleeves had it meant I would have the chance to really cut a rug with my classmates. Plus, think of all the music that will have a permanent place in prom history thanks to the overzealous prommers of the 80’s. A-Ha, Wham!, Journey, Duran Duran…the list goes on and on. What was my generation’s contribution? “The Humpty Dance”? Oh, please. Humpty has nothing on the sweet, sweet grooves Kool & The Gang!
For any of you out there who feel the same way I do, boy do I have good news. Thanks to the good folks at McMenamin’s Kennedy School we may have a second chance to experience prom as it was meant to be – totally ‘80’s style. It just so happens that on May 6, Kennedy School is hosting an ‘80’s Prom with local band Radical Revolution, who will be performing all the hits from the decade that brought you such sayings as “tubular” and “gag me with a spoon”. It’s gonna be totally awesome and I can’t wait to get out there and show them what I am made of. There will of course be plenty of dancing, random prizes and they will even be crowning Prom King and Queen! So get your tickets, like, now at Cascade Tickets and I will see you there. I will be the one in the middle of the dance floor trying not to spill my champagne while I do The Safety Dance. Now all I have to do is find a date who can pick me up in a bitchin’ Porsche 944…
P.S. Just to be fair, here I am at with my Junior Prom date, 1994. I thought I looked really cool…