Sweet Dreams Aren’t Made of Dancing


Erika Solis

With Prom just around the corner, the committee and senior class sponsors are working hard to ensure a successful, safe prom.

The 2021 senior prom is made of soft clouds, sweet dreams, and… a casino night? What once was a senior dance to be held at the Ross Perot Museum with dancing and dinosaurs, is now a game-night-style prom with social distancing. The Ross Perot Museum could not hold the senior class at full capacity and the district changed its’ COVID policies, so many changes had to be made in order to maintain a prom for the seniors to enjoy rather than cancel it all.

Ayanna Hill, senior, is on the prom committee where she and other students contributed to the planning of prom by using their knowledge of the senior class to make that day special. With so many regulations that needed to be changed or created, planning prom became a more complicated task, but prom was moved to the Midlothian Conference Center where students would have plenty of space to enjoy themselves safely.

“When it came to finding venues, we worked within the committee to see each other’s interests and what venue would not only be affordable but also be able to hold our entire senior class. With COVID, many venues did not fit these criteria, however, we finally found the Midlothian Conference Center and the district allowed us to finally secure a prom venue and date,” states Hill.

Reveille Schrock, prom coordinator, has been balancing teaching with the task of handling the sales of prom tickets as well as doing her best to work with the resources at hand to make prom a special night for the seniors whose year was so uncertain. While many plans had to change, Schrock was able to lead the way around the obstacles and toward a solution.

“The biggest change to prom is no dancing. We will still be having a DJ at prom and he will be playing music, which will probably be background atmosphere music. The district says that dancing is an exhaustive activity and it will cause many students to breathe heavily, which is a COVID hazard. The other change is that, since it is a school-sponsored event, masks will be enforced and we will be social distancing as much as possible. We will be cleaning and sanitizing everything between events and games,” said Schrock.

While there won’t be any sit-down meal at prom, finger foods and sweets will be available for the guests and they will be given to students in a clean manner. The lack of a sit-down meal will help keep the nice prom outfits clean while still keeping a classy atmosphere.

“There will be food that will be catered and more along the lines of hors d’oeuvres and appetizers, and then a huge dessert selection. Students can not get their own food, it has to be served buffet style or packaged in boxes. The food and eating will be held outside for more fresh and open air when people take their masks off to eat,” says Schrock.

Schrock has had to make a lot of adjustments surrounding prom, especially with the lack of dancing never seen before at a Lake Ridge prom. But it is necessary for the safety of students and all the committee members can do is pull something together that will give seniors something rather than nothing at all. All of the COVID regulations put in place are district guidelines that are not up for change or question. As for the prices of tickets; past years have seen similar prices, and to go any lower right now in price would limit options even more.

“I know that the students and parents are upset about the no dancing, which has been the biggest concern I have heard. In terms of ticket pricing, we really did need to have higher ticket pricing because we are very much on the border of not being able to afford the prom we want. We wanted to have lower ticket prices since there will be no dancing, but because of no dancing, we have to bring in extra entertainment which adds more cost. On top of that, all our money is tied up at the Ross Perot Museum and they aren’t giving us a refund. If ticket prices go cheaper, then we risk not having a prom at all,” states Schrock.

Hill and the rest of the prom committee are aware of the possibility of more changes needing to be made while COVID is still rampant and widely unpredictable. But as far as they know right now, the current plan will play out if they are able to sell enough tickets while in competition with alternative proms. Isabella Lucio, who did not wish to be interviewed, is just one of the people with alternative plans for prom, hers being a home prom that does have dancing.

“The biggest worry about prom for many people is the number of potential attendees. With so many aspects of our plans at the mercy of the pandemic, it is a very real fear that not enough people will show up to prom and forfeit the opportunity to have their last real “night” in high school. We fear that many will miss this tradition due to the pandemic protocols. Many of us on the prom committee are also students, and so, in many ways, we have the same concerns about the alternative prom design, especially the aspect of not dancing which scared many of us at first,” said Hill.

Hill is sure that, even though dancing will not be permitted, prom will still be a hit among students. With many stations and games to play and attend to, the prom committee made sure to address the entertainment aspect of prom in light of the new regulations. This will allow students to mingle safely and end their year semi-normal and end their high school years.

“From this year’s prom students can expect to walk into the prom of their dreams. They will be able to find a variety of activities in which they can create memories. Prom is more than an event; it’s a chance to be a part of a greater experience as a class and enjoy themselves truly as the seniors they have become. Therefore, I look forward to seeing as many students as possible at the prom this year on May 8th to participate in the “Dreamland” they will never forget,” stated Hill.

Linda Townsend, the mother of a Lake Ridge senior, feels as though the regulations that were put in place for prom are not in the best interest of the students. While she understands the concerns for student safety, she feels as though it is futile to take away a seemingly vital part of prom when the students, in her opinion, won’t stay six feet away with a mask anyway.

“I think that the COVID regulations that have been put in place for prom are ridiculous. A lot of these kids are with each other all the time and most of them are going to go to each other’s groups anyway. The whole point of prom is to dance. I understand that the regulations are just keeping the students’ safety in mind, but the kids should still be able to have fun,” said Townsend.

When the “no dancing” announcement was sent out, Townsman’s daughter was really frustrated with the aspect of no dancing. Their solution was to go to an alternative prom that is not sponsored by Lake Ridge, where dancing will be allowed. Townsend understands her daughter’s decision for the alternative prom with the viewpoint that she will get more fun for less money.

“When my daughter heard about the no dancing, she was upset. It just took all the fun out of it, and whether they do dance or not, that option is no longer there. So why would they spend ridiculous money on a nice dress, spend $80 plus on a ticket, and then not have a real prom?” states Townsend.

The prom committee and sponsors have dedicated a lot of their time to giving the seniors a night to remember. Students can buy their tickets until April 23rd from Schrock during the school day. The prom has changed many times since the original plan, but like many things this year, the changes were and are simply unavoidable. Hill is optimistic that the event will have a good turnout and be a great way to end the year.

“For the last 3 months, we have been working really hard to make prom both entertaining and interactive for the class. While dancing won’t be allowed every other aspect of a traditional prom will be including seeing the beautiful outfits of those in the class, eating wonderful food, and seeing the senior superlatives being announced,” says Hill.

Prom will be held on May eight at the Midlothian Conference Center, and tickets will be sold until April 23rd. While it won’t be a dance and many things have changed about the plan, the prom committee is sure there will still be much to enjoy. Tickets will be sold by Schrock during the school day after paying off all bookkeeper fees and completing the permission slip also provided by Schrock. As Hill said, “while it may not be the prom we all envisioned as a freshman, it will be a prom we won’t forget, in all the best ways.”