The Controversy of Prom

Jaiden Gunn, Staff Writer

Throughout many Disney-channel and cheesy teen movies, prom has almost always been a consistent theme. Even in real life, many can’t wait for prom and hope that it’s all they have dreamed it to be. But, more recently, prom and other school dances haven’t been the most popular because of their high expectations and high cost for most minimum wage working students. 

Dances for our generation have become slightly controversial. Many may think of them as only for the “popular” groups, and many may just not like the vibe of school dances, but others dislike dances for another reason: high expectations. Dances are essentially a fancy date. Some of the expectations that many think are too high are asking with posters, buying an expensive dress, having a really fun and expensive date, and a really nice dinner. I asked 16 students from different Utah high schools about their school’s 2020 prom. Most of them said they loved dances, but others had different thoughts. One student from Cedar Valley said, “I don’t really like going to dances because they are really stressful to plan and a little overrated.” A student from West Lake said, “I like going to them, but I wish they weren’t all the same and wished they could be a little more interesting.” 

I do agree that some dances like prom are a little too stressful. Planning for the dance and day date, and what you’re going to wear is stressful. Along with making sure that your date is going to have fun and have a good time. Not everyone can get a really fancy dress or suit for dances, and not everyone can plan a really fun, expensive, date like axe throwing or paintballing. 

While high stress and expectations are one reason why students don’t like dances, another is cost. I asked the students from other schools how much their prom ticket is. The lowest were Cottonwood and Kearns both charging $10 per person. But other schools are asking a little more. American Fork’s tickets are $50 for a couple. Tooele’s tickets are $30 per person and Copper Hills was $20, but after March 9 they were $30 for a couple. Along the same lines, Cedar Valley is $45 presale and $60 at the door just for a couple. This year, Bingham prom tickets were $35 for a couple. These ticket prices are insane. Many students don’t think spending all this money (just on the ticket alone) is worth it for just one night. At other schools like Jordan, all of their tickets are free except for prom. Another aspect isn’t just the tickets but the cost of the whole day. The day-date, dinner, dress/tie, and ticket. One guy from Riverton said that for the last dance he went to, he spent $150 on the whole day. And one girl from Copper Hills said she spent $170 on her last dance. I went to Bingham ball and I spent $115 on the whole dance. 

              Many have speculated what schools do with ticket costs and why they cost so much. I talked to SBOs Parker Lynch and Max Swensen, and both have told me that the administration decides the ticket price and the money goes towards paying the DJ and venue. Any extra money (if there is any) goes towards future dances. 

               Personally, I think that prom is a little too much for me. I just think it’s a lot of money to spend on one night that may just end up getting shut down (thanks, Bingham moshers). 

                This year due to COVID-19, sadly Prom was canceled this year. With the school closure being so close to the day, many people already bought their dress and reserved things for that day. Junior class officers had also already spent countless hours planning the dance. Even with the complaints that people sometimes have about dances, not having them or any other social opportunities makes you realize how much there is to appreciate about dances.  While I personally think that it’s a lot of money to spend for one day, they are a really great way to make memories with friends. Whether it’s screaming the songs until your voice gives out or trying to hold on to your friends in the mosh pit so you don’t fall down, dances are so much fun and hopefully, we can go back to school and have one last dance of the 2019-2020 school year.