Baltimore-area students go big with fancy clothes and ax-throwing at pandemic delayed proms – Baltimore Sun – Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore, Maryland 2022-05-18 07:00:00 –

Ostrich feathers, shimmering rhinestones, and dramatic trains.

When the dress designer asked what else she wanted from a custom-made ball gown for her first and last high school proms, she declared it had to be “massive.”

“I wanted to make it bigger, so when everyone saw me coming in, they became like’Ooooooo’,” Akaylah said.

A senior prom for a 17-year-old Baltimore student is scheduled for Friday. The pandemic canceled her junior prom last spring.

Dunbar High School’s senior is one of thousands of students in Maryland where the COVID-19 pandemic has been confused for the third consecutive year. As education moved online, many teens lamented that they lost the high school cultural benchmarks that parents, teachers, older siblings, and peers enjoyed, from homecoming games to graduations. rice field.

Still, some teens say this year’s prom is an opportunity to make up for the lost moments of a night of delight and charm. They grow up and choose more luxurious themes than kitsch and hors d’oeuvres over sitting meals (to avoid the risk of soiling gowns and black ties).

And adults are all in. The principal is bombarding a floor-length gown. Schools are working to reduce costs and provide transportation to make dancing as accessible as possible. Avid parents receive an ironic reminder from their children that the prom is a closed event.

While the prom tradition gives many teens a prominent opportunity, this year’s party offers shots in a normal mood. Managers say it’s an opportunity to celebrate the resilience of students. Sun talked to students throughout the region about the prom plan.

These are part of their story.

When Akayla’s junior prom was canceled, she remembered feeling “boring.” Then she paused to reconsider.

“I haven’t been ridiculed,” she reconsidered. “In fact, I was furious. I wanted to experience both Proms.”

Dunbar’s seniors were envious when they got into the wind of a private school in the Baltimore area where they were able to host the Proms last spring. And when her sister, who is currently attending Copin State University, said that her only regret from her prom wasn’t involved in her plans, she listened carefully.

So when it became clear that the 2022 class would get that advanced prom this spring, Akayla immediately asked her principal how she could help.

Dunbar’s Prom Committee is made up of two members, including Akaila, but the planning involved the entire senior class. Teens used pandemic-tested technologies like Google Classroom to post photos of potential venues and vote for their peers on themes, decorations, and music.

The class chose the “Great Gatsby” theme over choices such as rodeo and royalty. And they decided to use finger food (a “fancy option”) instead of a formal meal, Akayla said.

“We want to have a magical night with nothing on our clothes. We enjoy being together in class,” she said.

Still, her committee position gave her a high degree of knowledge about party attractions, including two red carpets, a photo booth, and lots of flashy decorations. She blames her classmates when they stop her in her hallway to ask for prom details.

“The only thing I can say is,’You should join the committee.'”

Jamel Jernigan, Principal of Woodlawn High School, still has the dress he bought for the prom canceled by the pandemic in 2020.

For this year’s Comeback Wedding Festival, she has prepared a new dress — a black gown with floor-length sequins. She had to get something that matched the prom theme of the “Red Carpet Incident”.

“It’s more than they’re used to seeing me — blazer and blouses and skirts or pant suits,” said Jernigan. “That’s why children should be amused too.”

Jernigan, like his students, hasn’t been able to experience the Woodloan prom since 2019. A few years after she had no high school milestones, she and her fellow educators want to join the prom and see their students dressed in Hollywood charm.

“As a principal, I do a lot to solve problems on our campus, problems within our school community, and problems,” said Jernigan. “But for me, the prom is one of the times we can just go and have a good time with the students. It’s the same as kids can have their hair down and have fun — and with me. My team can do that too. “

Staff have endeavored to give all students access to the prom experience. Senior Assistant Principal Yalonda Booker came up with the idea of ​​a bus that would take students to an event in Martins Westminster on May 14th.

According to Booker, transportation options have allowed some parents who didn’t originally plan to buy a limousine to book in one fell swoop.

“COVID was very eye-opening for us,” said Aisia Lambert, senior at Woodloan, who is in charge of planning the prom. “We realized that things shouldn’t always be taken for granted, as things can disappear quickly.”

J’Pia Isbell, 19, from Ellicott City, didn’t have the opportunity to attend her senior prom.

Her prom, which graduated from Centennial High School in Ellicott City in 2020, was canceled due to a pandemic.

“I was a little disappointed because I made it when I learned that I wouldn’t receive the prom. [my dress] With my own hands, “she said. “I was a little sad when they told us that all we were doing was taking pictures.”

A second-year student currently studying education at Howard Community College in Colombia, she had the opportunity to attend a high school prom held at a hotel in the Alandel Reserve in Hanover on April 23.

Invited by a high school friend, he wore a light blue mermaid-style dress and changed his clothes specially according to the theme of the event’s masquerade.

Isbel said it makes a lot of sense for her to be able to join the prom with her friends.

“”[My friend] I knew I was ridiculed when I couldn’t go [to prom] As a senior, it felt good because she wanted to go with me so that I could have a prom, “she said.

Prom participants for all ages in Carroll County! According to the organizers, on May 6th, they were able to dance, take pictures and enjoy light meals in an acceptable environment.

Currently, many school proms allow students to wear what they like and bring in people of the same gender as the date, but according to Joy Fisher, president of PFLAG Westminster, an organization for parents. “It takes a lot of courage to do that,” LGBTQ children.

PFLAG sponsored this prom. It had nothing to do with the local school system.

“I don’t know if you’ll be teased or if you’re called a name,” Fisher said. “It takes more courage to do slow dance.”

Westminster’s St. Paul’s United Church of Christ Hall Prom for All Ages! So, she said, these concerns have been superseded by the more typical teenage anxiety.

“You don’t need the courage to dance with the person you want to dance to, other than the courage to ask,” Fisher said.

According to Fisher, PFLAG Westminster has hosted popular Valentine’s Day dances in the past, but the pandemic has stopped them. When the number of COVIDs began to decline, the organizers began to consider hosting another prom.

According to Fisher, about 140 people participated in the prom.

“It was absolutely amazing, beyond what we had dreamed of,” she said.

Admission is free and she said she was mainly attended by teenagers and junior high school students while everyone was invited. There was a chaperone and light meals were prepared. All participants were able to take pictures, receive free printed matter and take it home.

“It’s for all ages from 2 to 99,” Fisher said. “Children, adults, we all need a safe place.”

Fisher, who wore a black tie at the event, said attendees were encouraged to wear what they wanted.

“The kids had a great time,” Fisher said. “They wore gowns and black tie shorts. It was exciting to me.”

After two years of cancellation, Harford County’s prom season is finally back. Harford County Public School began its prom season on April 8th at Aberdeen High School in Belcamp’s Waters Edge.

“The prom was important to me because it was one of the last things I experienced in senior class,” said Shayla Talley, senior at Aberdeen High School. “The last dance of my high school career, and the last dance you make to save memories around those who have graduated from high school.”

The principal has decided to host the Proms this year, said Mike O’Brien, Executive Director of Secondary School Guidance and Performance at the Harford School System.

“The prom plan started in the spring of 2021. The prom started in the spring of 2022,” O’Brien said. “We reached the current prom plan after the latest wave of COVID began to fade.”

According to Tally, students were very excited about Aberdeen High’s first prom in three years.

“If I miss [prom]I missed the right time, so I feel like I’m still emptied, “she said. “If I didn’t go, I would have been left behind or left behind.”

After the prom, the students ate and had an after-party, including Tally, who said, “I had a good time with my friends.”

At Northeast High School in Anne Arundel County, this year’s prom featured ax throwing, pretzel walls with nacho cheese fountains, escape rooms, mechanical pigs, smore bars, and cotton candy with lit sticks.

Class Vice President Senior Ellie Hermann said the organizers wanted to make sure that the April 30th event would bring something to everyone.

Hermann, who helped plan the prom with other class executives and parents, said this year’s event was a bit different because it was sponsored by the community rather than the school due to funding constraints earlier this year. rice field.

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Class executives and parents began raising money through Bingo fundraising, planning proms, thinking about what they could do, calculating ticket prices, and booking entertainment.

“We were able to poll the students and understand what everyone wanted,” Hermann said. “We tried to plan a prom that everyone would enjoy.”

She wasn’t very interested in the seated meals at the event, so the organizers chose foods that could be walked around, such as chicken tenders and taco-in bags.

The event took place at the Maryland Yacht Club in Pasadena, many outdoors, Hermann said.

Hermann held a wedding dress drive called the Pasadena Princess Project this spring for the third consecutive year. This drive was already in operation in 2020, when the pandemic broke out, and continued for the Private Proms in 2021.

“We graduated from high school sophomore, but we haven’t returned to normal,” she said. “Proms are a really big normal thing that is finally back.”

Baltimore Sunmedia reporters Alana Haynes, Tony Roberts, Katie V. Jones and Rachel Pasera contributed to the story.

Baltimore-area students go big with fancy clothes and ax-throwing at pandemic delayed proms – Baltimore Sun Source link Baltimore-area students go big with fancy clothes and ax-throwing at pandemic delayed proms – Baltimore Sun

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