I've always felt the real "power" in Prom is not the location, the dresses, the DJ, the tuxes, the limos, nor even the pictures, but the fact that the class is all together, in one place, celebrating one last time. All the other extras are just fine (and we had plenty of them), but what makes it work is that final sense of community before the final "walk" on Tuesday. Last night really demonstrated that. There was no drama, no fights, no intrigue, and no bitterness (aside from the traffic); everyone really seemed to appreciate the time, own the night, and make it something that they'd all remember. Some spent the night waiting for caricatures, others played with toy swords. Some played tic-tac-toe using pieces of candy, while others played glow jump-rope in the corner. Some spent the dance racking up photostrips from the photobooth, while others used the new-fangled selfie-sticks for excellent group shots. Some danced, some swayed, some bobbed up and down, and some just sat and took it all in. Even the music was a mix of modern hip-hop techno...but with fresh infusion of "classic" songs including Bon Jovi and Breakfast Club. The fact our Prom King and Queen picked a throw-back upbeat song to bring everyone together said a lot about them and the class as a whole.
Of course the Class of 2015 (largely responsible for kickstarting the Homecoming tradition, and introducing the LipDub) wouldn't be satisfied with just normal Prom activities. Some innovative and eager students insisted we create a year-in-review video (see below!) and follow it up with a "flash mob" of All In This Together from High School Musical. There was some skepticism in the planning process ("do people want this at a dance? Will it be corny? Will people think it's stupid?) but when all was said and done, everyone has their head in the game and was captivated. Whether it was because they really got to appreciate just what they'd accomplished over the past year, or started to comprehend this is the end of the journey, or just because they've always imagined high school would have an "All In This Together" dance at Prom, there were more than a few tears. Something like that doesn't happen accidentally. That's what happens when a Class "wins" at high school.
As my first year as the class sponsor, I'm sure I'm biased, but this was easily one of my favorite Proms I've attended over the past five years. A huge congratulations and thank you goes out to Ms. Kilburn, the Senior Officers, and even our non-elected volunteer senior leaders. It went out with a little bit of everything, and showcased the tapestry of this graduating class. In the words of the LipDub...I'll swear it lived.
Of course, what's a Baldwin Dance without a few observations:
10. Students finally figure out which Doubletree to go to; get stuck in traffic thanks to the SingleTree in the road
9. Chaperone tries Warheads candy for the first time in fifteen years; immediately regrets the decision.
8. The balloon artist hears the song "bubble butt" and takes offense, thinking it's the DJ mocking him.
7. "Wooah, we're halfway there!" is played in the final hour of the final weekend of the final year of high school.
6. B-Easy loses his hat, only to have it found by another student...who proceeded to lose her selfie-stick
5. Students refuse to leave after hearing the "Graduation" song...now we know how to keep people at Grad practice.
4. Just as the "All in this Together" Flash Mob comes on, chaperone makes non-participants get off the dance floor
3. Class Treasurer is brought to Prom against her will; has more fun than anyone and wins the night.
2. Sponsors realize how many phones need charged mid-Prom; decide to "rent" outlets next year to fundraise.
1. The Class realizes that high school really does go by in a flash; they'll be sorely missed.
(Check out some pictures and the video below. If you have any images I should add, send them my way!)