Proms have changed over the years

Bella Moscone – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – Many high school students get excited when prom comes around. It’s an exciting annual event, but it has changed over many decades.

High school proms didn’t start getting their fame until around the 1930s. In fact, school dances were popular only in college.

Early prom dances were very different compared to now. What used to be considered a grand prom was a group of seniors “sipping tea and dancing” on the gymnasium floor, supervised by chaperones.

Students showed up dressed in what was called their “Sunday best.” This included long floor length gowns and suited vests.

By the 1940s, prom dances and attire started showing up in newspapers and magazines. Women’s gowns were long with puffy sleeves, and big skirts.

By the late 40s and 50s high school proms became very popular. Still being hosted in school gymnasiums, big bands would play as students, all dressed up, would dance and drink punch.

Being the best dressed couple on the dance floor is what contributed to prom traditions, such as being named “Prom King” and “Prom Queen.”

As excitement and fame for yearly prom dances grew, by the 1960s, they started being hosted in larger venues.

Deborah Holmgren, who unfortunately did not attend her high school prom attended my grandfather’s college “Promenade” in the mid 60s.

“I remember it being very sophisticated. All the girls had their hair done up, and long dresses,” she said.

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We all know the 70s and 80s were the decades of disco, and proms during those times revolved around that, too.

But classic 80s films like 16 Candles and Pretty in Pink romanticized prom dances for many teenagers.

English teacher Jennifer Grant attended her junior and senior prom in the mid 90s.

“For my junior prom, I wore a red sequined dress. The next year I actually wore a pants suit. I remember my shoes killing me, so like all the other girls I took them off,” said Grant.

However much prom changed throughout the decades, many memories were made that alumni carry to today.