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May 11, 2010 > Ready to have a "ball"

Ready to have a "ball"

By Alissa Gwynn
Photos By courtesy of Mission San Jose High School's the Smoke Signal

Though school is winding down, the senior class of 2010 is just now gearing up for one of the most important events of the year: Senior Ball. Between dresses and tuxes, limousines, photographs, and more, prom is without a doubt a rite of passage for young people, creating lifetime memories

Prom, which is a shortened version of "Promenade" (a march of guests into a ballroom signifying the opening of a formal ball), first appeared at the end of the 19th century. A much simpler ordeal back then, prom consisted of teenagers dressing in their Sunday best, socializing and drinking tea together. The first reference to "prom" came from a young man's diary in 1894; he wrote about his invitation to prom at Smith College (at the time high schools did not host proms).

It was only in the 1950s, in the post-war economic boom, that prom as we know it first emerged. Girls began shopping for their perfect "prom look," and boys and girls alike coveted the social status that accompanied the title of "Prom King and Queen." In the 80s, movies like "Footloose" and "Pretty in Pink" further emphasized the extravagance of prom; competing for the best dress, best date, and best transportation became the norm.

Today, glamour and sophistication are still associated with prom, as evidenced by Hummer limos and grand locations. Teenagers often emulate celebrities on their special night, following the dress trends (sequins, one shoulder), makeup (false eyelashes, red lipstick) and hairstyles (elegant updos or cascading curls) of the year.

Although prom has changed drastically throughout history, the idea behind it remains the same. So, graduating Seniors, enjoy this monumental evening and dance the night away; prom only comes around once!

Milpitas High School
Saturday, May 15
8 p.m. to Midnight
Parc 55 in San Francisco
55 Cyril Magnin Street, San Francisco

Washington High School
Saturday, May 22
7 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
The Regency in San Francisco
1290 Sutter Street, San Francisco

Mission San Jose High School
Saturday, May 29
7 p.m. to midnight
San Francisco Design Center Galleria
101 Henry Adams Street, San Francisco

Irvington High School
Saturday, May 29
8 p.m. to 11:45 p.m.
The Exploratorium
3601 Lyon Street, San Francisco

James Logan High School
Saturday, May 29
8 p.m. to midnight
Dolce Hayes Mansion
200 Edenvale Avenue, San Jose

American High School
Saturday, June 5
7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Terra
511 Harrison Street, San Francisco

Newark Memorial High School
Saturday, June 5
7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
San Francisco Design Center Galleria
101 Henry Adams Street, San Francisco

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