Proms have always been a celebration but perhaps this year, more than ever. In Simsbury Friday night, Ellington High School held its junior and senior prom.
It looked almost normal. Limousines, one after another, arrived at Simsbury’s Riverview banquet hall with 200 formally attired teenagers ready for an evening of elegance.
While the wardrobe choices were traditional, safety protocols were not. Students were split into separate ballrooms of 100 people each. Masks were required and students were assigned tables with school cohorts. What was once in doubt though, was a reality.
“Now that we’re here and everything’s happening, we are ecstatic,” said Lindsay McGinn, the class of 2021 advisor who helped plan and organize the event.
High school proms were something widely lost to the pandemic a year ago and are still somewhat rare.
“I was really hoping that we were going to have this,” said Ellington senior Mitchell Whelan while acknowledging the disappointment of missing it last year.
Proms are an age-old tradition. However, one that can no longer be taken for granted. In an era where having a normal indoor prom is abnormal, students looked at Friday’s dance as a positive step forward.
“It’s like turning the corner on COVID,” said Ellington senior Rudraksh Nathan.
Students say, vaccinations helped make it possible.
“Everyone here is over 16. So, everyone here has had the opportunity to get it and I know a lot of people have,” said Ellington senior Sara Guerette.
Even the DJ was excited. He says this is his first prom since having dozens canceled last year.
“I’m just grateful anything is coming back,” said Austin Dailey. “Entertainers, we’ve just been sitting on our butts waiting and waiting.”
As for the students, they know tonight was special and something the class of 2020 never got to experience.
Asked what he would’ve lost if the prom didn’t happen, Whelan said, “a pivotal life experience, that generations have used to transition to college.”