A Night in the Spotlight

Prom season is tough stuff. It’s stressful “promposing”, arranging groups, making dinner reservations, organizing pictures, scheduling the night to the very last minute detail, and of course, buying the perfect dress and coordinating tux.

“Promposing”: the art of asking someone to prom. Promposals can be as elaborate as a city-wide scavenger hunt, or as simple as making a pun-filled poster. Most opted for the latter, like senior Jason Anozie who says he asked “with an average poster”. Others were more ambitious, like SES junior, Hanna Clark who spent over $50 on custom made donuts, fake succulents, pink ribbon, black tags, and acrylic markers. Thankfully, her date accepted both the donuts and her promposal.

After the promposal came dress shopping. Some prom-goers looked for dresses as early as January—five months in advance. Seniors Ashley Knapp and Brooke Lewis created a Facebook page called “AVHS PROM 2017” on January 8th for old dresses to be sold, announcements to be made, and pictures of prom dresses to be posted before the big day.

For most girls, finding the perfect dress was “quite the process” as junior Emma Vogelgesang said. Often, it took several trips, orders and dresses to get the right match. Junior Ellie Nesseth said, “Finding a dress was horrible. It was hard to find a dress that fits my body type.”

And still, that wasn’t the end of it. Group plans had to be made. This included everything from choosing a picture location to coordinating rides to organizing after parties. Olivia Murphy, a junior and first-time prom-goer, said she put at least 24 hours into planning her group’s schedule. Groups ranged in size from as small as four people to as large as sixty. Junior Madison Pitonyak said, “It was hard to keep the group small enough yet not feel like we were not letting people feel included.”

Many of these agendas included a pre-prom photoshoot. Scenic locations like the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Stone Arch Bridge, and Guthrie Theatre were chosen by groups. For some, hired photographers captured all the excitement and elegance, but more commonly, friends and family took pictures. Freshman Liza Rotty photographed her sister, Arianna Rotty, and friends before the Grand March.

By the time most dresses were bought, groups arranged, and pre-prom plans made, tickets were on sale. This year, tickets were priced at $85. Most students agreed that they were definitely on the pricey side, but were worth it since everything came in one place. Tickets covered dinner and dancing at the International Market Square. However, some thought it had unnecessary expenses. Nesseth said, “I could’ve done without the water bottle if it meant my ticket would’ve been cheaper.”

Junior Connor Van Hulzen said, “The worst part of prom for me was the wait for the food. It took a long time for them to call our table and then when we did get to eat, the food ran out very quickly.” But, in the end, he did like his chicken.

The music seemed to elicit the same reaction. Senior Sarah Crippes said, “I didn’t know much of the music, but any music is dancing music.” 

Despite all the stresses and expenses, prom will forever be a night to remember. Like thousands of other American teenagers, Apple Valley students conquered this high school stepping stone. They had their Night in the Spotlight.

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