Did I mention that I grew up in Tonga? That’s where I was during my senior year in high school. That’s where I had my Senior Prom. Now I know prom is a big deal, it was to us, even in the islands. I never went to prom in America, but I’m sure mine was a little different than yours. First off, our prom was called a “ball”, as in “a ball that Cinderalla went to”. It must have been that British influence. The Ball was a long-standing tradition at our high school. In fact, I’m pretty sure that we were the only high school on the island that had one. We were cool like that.
Our ball took place in our gym. Here’s the set up. See the arrow. That’s where each person and their “partner” (defnintely NOT date) came out of. There was a camera crew as well. If they had had live television back then, I’m sure it would have been broadcasted for the rest of the island to watch. Because it wasn’t, everyone who didn’t go to the ball, stood outside watching. I’m serious.
There I am with my partner. He was the student body president at the time, and because of that, we were the first to be announced. We were announced, came down the stairs and waited for everyone else to make their grand entrance.
After everyone was announced, we all did this dance number all together called The March, that somehow you knew automatically how to do that night. There was never “March rehearsal” which actually surprises me. It was tradition to do at the ball.
Only Juniors and Seniors were allowed at the ball. Oh yeah, and their parents. These are mine. It was kind of just, well, expected that your parents would be at the ball. In fact, you came to the ball with your parents, then went and found your partner after arriving.
We usually had entertainment halfway through, you know, to give those dancing feet a break. I didn’t get one. I was part of the entertainment. I was asked to dance a hula number. My sister reminded me that we had gone that afternoon to the gym, so I could practice there. Betcha didn’t have to do that for prom.
I enjoyed my prom experience. I guess because things are done different here, it might be seen as a unique experience. For me it wasn’t weird and it wasn’t “different”. It was what I expected and loved it.