Prom 2021

May 22nd, 2021

Prom 2021.

I am sitting in the car outside Plantation Golf and Country Club. After North Port High’s failed attempt at a senior formal, Maria Wunder, and her mother took matters into their own hands. They successfully planned a prom open to the community, where anyone under the age of 21 could attend. My stomach is in knots, and I can feel the nerves continue to build as more and more teenagers begin to arrive, complete with long dresses and matching suits. I inhale deeply, and let it go before opening the door and stepping out. My long olive-green dress blows softly in the wind and my gold heels click on the pavement. I make my way to the entrance, where clumps of girls are conversing on the bridge.

I instantly spot my friends and instantly relax. That’s all it takes for my nerves to disappear. Everyone converses and we snap a couple pictures before deciding to go inside.

In the hallway before the room, we can hear the music before we even see it. A table is set up with hundreds of glowsticks, uncracked and awaiting the darkness. The girls grab a few and we immediately look for an open table, which isn’t hard considering there’s not many people here.

The country club is filled with tables set up for dining on both sides of the enormous room, the dance floor in the middle. Nobody’s dancing; they’re most likely too embarrassed. A photo booth is set up in the back corner with two different back drops and tons of props. On the other side, former student-parent Monica Amaya is setting up a portrait backdrop. There’s tons of merchandise for attendees! I make my way through the tables and people arriving, saying hi to old friends.

Erica Schmitt and her posse are the first to break the dance floor, per the usual. The DJ now noticing their presence plays the Cupid Shuffle, and the dance floor is filled for the rest of the night.

The strobe lights are on full blast, Esteban Harker-Barnes and Koby Wintersteller have crowd surfed (which is Wintersteller’s ritual at all dances), and enough Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion, and Polo G to last a lifetime. It’s hot and the dance floor is filled with sweaty bodies, but no one seems to mind. The buffet is open, and people are free to do whatever they want. I spend the entire night in the photo booth, and on the dance floor with Tatiana Harker-Barnes.

Logan King, a popular student-athlete announces the prom court, followed by the Prom King & Queen winners. Wintersteller wins Prom King, which is no surprise, our football QB is known by most and loved by all. Our Prom Queen is Erica Schmitt, the salutatorian, who is also one of the sweetest girls you’ll ever meet. Wintersteller crowns the queen, and Schmitt bashfully throws him a signature smile and they hug in victory.

The rest of the night continues with loud music, food and tons of desserts.

There’s no doubt that for most people, this is the highlight of senior year. After a year filled with social distancing, masks, and feeling so disconnected from each other, this is the one time in the 2020-2021 school year that people feel most connected (and not just literally).

Prom 2021 banner signed by attendees on May 22, 2021. It’s signed by almost all Prom-goers, in blue light markers, only visible in the dark.