Student Committee Begins Planning for 2023 Prom

This May, Sidwell intends to hold its first prom unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic since 2019. The theme will be “Midnight Masquerade” with red and gold decorations.

After holding the event in the Athletic Center for the past two years, Sidwell plans to host the 2023 prom at a venue. Last year, masks, testing and COVID-19 safety protocols were put in place to minimize contagion, affecting students socially with regards to their prom experiences.

Having few issues with COVID-19 this school year, Sidwell intends to hold a normal prom with no restrictions. For seniors whose high school experiences have been warped by the pandemic, this decision is exciting.

Sidney Ford, a senior on the Prom Committee, said that the Committee’s main goal is for “everyone to have a great time and make long-lasting memories.”

Ford emphasized that “for many students, prom is something they have anticipated for a long time.”

With only one “normal” year of high school, the Class of 2023 has missed several traditions, thus making senior prom even more special. Since 2020, the pandemic has caused other school dances and events to be canceled, postponed or altered in an effort to prioritize safety.

“For deciding on [Midnight Masquerade as] the theme, we started with creating a doc with all of our ideas,” Ford said. “When deciding on the final theme, we went with the general consensus of the group,” she added.

Sidwell students are also taking prom as an opportunity to support the greater community. Through Girls Who Start, Sidwell is hosting a prom dress drive. The donated dresses will go to underserved high schools throughout Washington and Montgomery County so students throughout the region can feel their best at prom.

This effort is spearheaded by Once Upon a Prom, an initiative founded by two students at Bethesda Chevy-Chase High School in Maryland. According to its website, Once Upon a Prom wants every teen to attend prom regardless of their financial situation.

Statistics on the organization’s website state that “teens spend an average of $600-$800 on proms.” These numbers signify the tremendous financial expense of prom that poses restrictions for many students.

Once Upon a Prom aims to combat this reality through donation drives for dresses, suits, jewelry and shoes. With over 5,000 people served and 200 cumulative volunteers, this organization aims to make prom financially bearable throughout the region. By providing secondhand prom clothes, there are also many sustainability benefits associated with the organization.

In this sense, prom is more than an exciting night to spend time with friends for many Sidwell students, also allowing them to give back to the wider community.