Prom plans merge into street dance By Rylee Craig

Bellevue East plans to host an alternative prom for our juniors and seniors. The event will take place at East on Saturday, May 15 from 8:00 PM to 12:00 AM. Due to the pandemic, a lot of the venues are not renting to big groups, so this year’s prom will look more like a street dance and will be on the whole campus instead of just inside. 

          “We plan on having a DJ, a king and queen coronation, some raffle prizes, snacks, and have a hypnotist to finish the night off. We are planning on having fireworks but that hasn’t been quite finalized yet,” Principal Jeffery Wagner said. 

           The dress code will be semi-formal or dressy casual. Parking will be in the BJSA parking lot and masks will be required inside and outside. Tickets will be five dollars a person and only juniors and seniors are allowed to attend. There will be no underclassmen or dates from other schools. Online seniors and juniors are also not allowed to attend.  

          “Some students are concerned about underclassmen and dates from other schools not attending, but really it’s about controlling the size of the crowd. If we allowed dates from other schools and underclassmen then we could anticipate about 600 kids. I know a lot of schools are allowing dates, but their plan is that if it rains that night to cancel the event, and we don’t want to have to do that,” Wagner said. 

           Some students are still optimistic about the event despite the changes. Senior Chloe Garcia said that she is looking forward to the experience of her first “prom,” even though it is not the traditional dance everyone is used to. 

          “I think this year’s prom will be completely different than the past years. This year the dress code is more casual and it will be more homecoming style. It is also being held here at East, which is kind of sad since it is tradition to have it at the Durham,” Garcia said. 

Students’ concerns also involve having no senior input for the dance. Wagner says that junior class officers usually plan prom anyway and seniors are not normally involved in that. 

“I asked three different groups of seniors in some different classrooms what their thoughts were so I did not do it formally. I told them what I was thinking and students thought it would be awesome. So there was input from students, just not formally,” Wagner said.  

Students also have concerns regarding Bellevue West and how their prom will look more traditional compared to East. West will be allowing dates to attend as well as holding the dance on their football field. 

  “I think the no underclassmen rule and no outside dates is understandable due to the circumstances of the pandemic, but also wish we could have outside dates at the same time. I also wish we could just have a normal prom out on the football field instead of trying to incorporate too many things and having it on the cement parking lot,” Garcia said. 

Wagner says that East wanted to do something more unique like have a street dance, and moving the DJ, drinks, and tables will also be easier if the event is held closer to the school. Wagner also says that students who wear heels will have a harder surface on the cement versus the football field which is more spongy. 

“We have a better idea, we are having a street dance so we actually have a theme instead of just saying we are getting together on the football field,” Wagner said.   

Wagner hopes students can still enjoy this event despite the differences from the norm. Being able to socialize with fellow East students and participate in carrying on a prom tradition will still create lasting memories.

“You get a chance to come hang out with your friends and be with the juniors and seniors of your class. You get a chance to see a king and queen coronation, students can still come out and dance and do the same things you do at prom. If regular prom is worth it then I would hope that this prom would be worth it too,” Wagner said.