The online student newspaper of Vandegrift High School

Vandegrift Voice

The online student newspaper of Vandegrift High School

Vandegrift Voice

The online student newspaper of Vandegrift High School

Vandegrift Voice


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Prepping prom: From Pinterest to reality

Taleah Richardson

Dazzling dresses, sophisticated suits and months of preparation are all aspects that go into the highly anticipated prom dance. However, the behind-the-scenes work of Student Council is what brings the dreamy event to life, as they take ideas from Pinterest boards to the venue in downtown Austin. 

“It starts off [with] a basic outline, you have to think of it like writing an essay, and you have to start with a thesis,” Anya Bhandari, events co-director, said. “We started off from Pinterest and made vision boards, from there we needed to think of different decorative pieces, [it’s like] you’re adding detail to your body paragraphs.” 

Planning a school-wide event can be a tedious process, however the inclusion of voices not only from Student Council, but from the overall school’s population can help out with the basis of planning prom. The final theme is ultimately chosen by the student body, however, themes are generated by members of StuCo.

“We put out a form to Student Council and they had to put in their suggestions for what the themes would be, [out] of those we picked the top [six],” Bhandari said. “We put [the chosen themes] and put it onto [another] form and sent it out [for] the school to vote.” 

The potential themes for this year’s prom included Under the Sea, Hollywood Glam, Night at Gatsby’s, Evening in Paris, Royal Ball, and Cloud Nine (Among the Clouds). With six special and wildly different themes, the pressure is then put onto the students for the concept of the dance.  

Choosing a theme is just the beginning of the prom planning process; venues and catering must be booked as well, which can come as a challenge for those working on the dance. Thankfully, the dance has been held at the same location since the school’s opening, leveraging familiarity and allowing logistics to be carried out more smoothly. 

“Vandegrift has been having prom at the same place since the school opened, so we already have those connections,” Mr. Lewis, English teacher and Student Council sponsor, said.

Despite having a set location for each year’s prom, planning an event as popular and acclaimed as prom will still face challenges. One particular struggle this year was balancing the aspects of aesthetic and practicality. 

Data taken from sample of 26 students (Aisha Rashid)

“We knew we wanted cloud-looking decorations, the hardest part was figuring out how to integrate that because there’s some restrictions with the venue,” Bhandari said. 

Even after the planning, booking, and overcoming obstacles, the prom still needs to be physically crafted at the venue. A team of students spends their morning transforming a bland ballroom into a dreamy setting. Detailed decorations to mood lighting are all carefully crafted to create the perfect atmosphere. 

“The day of prom we have a bunch of people helping us out from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. just constructing everything, and putting everything in place, we walk in and get a blank ballroom with tables and chairs, but everything else is up to us,” Bhandari said. “A lot of work goes into it.”

The quality of each year’s prom is dependent on the amount of tickets sold, meaning the success of prom is an endless cycle of improving the dance to its highest potential. Ticket sales not only ensure sustainability for the event, but it also allows for a baseline for future prom dances.

“The more sales we have of [this year’s] prom, the better prom we can have next year,” Lewis said. “The money from the tickets go directly back into the prom fund.”  

Even with shining lights and catchy songs, safety remains a top priority. Students are expected to stay in the intended area in order to keep everyone safe while still allowing those attending to celebrate the evening. 

“We have chaperones stationed at doors and escalators to try [to] promote safety and prevent students from going into unattended areas,” Lewis said. 

Prom is not only a night full of dancing beneath the stars, it’s a legacy. The student council and administration team’s effort to create a fun, fulfilling, and safe experience for students is apparent in the dedication and time put into the planning and execution of the event. 

“I want people to remember us as being unique, and I want people to be there and take a lot of photos,” Bhandari said.

In the light of prom being around the corner, it is important to shed light on those who make the event possible. Planning an event loved by students is a delicate blend of tradition, innovation, and creativity. Our memories of these special events planned by dedicated students will forever reside among the clouds.


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About the Contributor
Renee Crotty, Staff Reporter
Renee Crotty is a junior and is thrilled to be in her first year of the Voice. Outside of school she enjoys music, hanging out with family and friends and going out on the weekends.

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