The high school prom is tradition -- a tradition that dates back to the mid 1800s. And even though it has gone through many changes over the years, the purpose of the famous dance is still the same. The prom is an end-of-school party where primarily seniors and juniors have a good time together before the seniors graduate and scatter in all directions.
For Yosemite High School seniors Karley LeQuia, Natale Nicolulis and Dana Day, this is definitely true. All girls are close friends and the May 12 prom night at Tenaya Lodge, preceded by dinner at Ducey's Bar & Grill, was a special night and one of the last times the three will be together.
In the fall, LeQuia will be attending Azusa Pacific University on an academic scholarship for nursing and plans on being on the school's swim team. She will participate in the Bass Lake Triathlon June 2 to raise funds for the Boys & Girls Club of Oakhurst.
LeQuia, when asked how long it took her to get ready, said with a smile, "Only a few hours." She wore a dress from Mia Bella Cauture, a Fresno bridal and gown shop, and was escorted by sophomore Hunter Murphy.
Nicolulis was escorted to the big dance by freshman Chase Lassos. She is the school's commissioner of athletics, responsible for promoting school spirit and fundraisers. In the fall she will be attending Cuesta College, a community college in San Luis Obispo. At dinner, she said she was ready to dance and have an amazing time.
Her dress was from Cache, a dress shop in Fresno's Fashion Fair mall. Preparation time? About an hour. The last senior in the group, Dana Day, will be attending a university in Massachusetts next year as a pre-pharmacy major. Her date for the prom was freshman Tyler McIntyre.
"I am ready to party, dance and have fun at the prom," Day said, wearing a white, full-length dress from Macy's.
With the expense of prom on the rise, the night can become pretty costly for the female students with a formal dress, shoes, hair, make-up, manicures and of course, the traditional prom photo. Formal gowns and dresses can range from $100 to $250 and the boys spend about $100 on average to rent a tuxedo and in most cases, pay for dinner and prom tickets for themselves and their date. So teens are looking for ways to cut back costs like driving to the prom instead of a limo, buying a discount dress instead a designer dress, or even having a potluck at someone's house instead of a fancy and pricey restaurant dinner.
LeQuia, Nicolulis and Day all got ready event at home, doing their own hair and make-up instead of utilizing professionals. And apparently, according to the girls, this is what a lot of girls who are attending the prom did.
This group of six prom goers decided to drive themselves to the prom, instead of paying for a limo as some students have done in the past.
According to Tammie Thacker, activities director at YHS, the cost for a ticket to the prom was $75 per couple with an Associated Student Body card.
Another couple who drove themselves to Fish Camp, Paul Boortz and Amanda Bausch, the school's student body president, opted for dinner in the Sierra Restaurant at Tenaya Lodge with two other couples. In the fall, Boortz will be attend Cal Poly to study mechanical engineering and Bausch will attend Cuesta College with plans to become a professional event planner.
"I'm ready to spend the night having fun, and dancing with my girlfriend," said Kyle Arnold. Arnold, a senior, will be attending Fresno City College next semester. He was at the prom with longtime girlfriend Amanda Roussin.
The prom was set to start at 7:30 p.m. and by that time there was a line of well-dressed teenagers anxiously waiting to go inside the ball room.
Once inside, the couples, or groups of friends, would stop for the quick professional photo and then it was on to dance floor to dance the night away to the sounds of brother and sister DJs Zach and Kelsey Peckinpah, both YHS graduates.
The prom theme was "A Night of Good Fortune." Senior Harley Glines and Laura Silverman were voted Prom King and Queen by their classmates.
"I am looking forward to the dancing ... it's going to be a fun night," said Boortz. "It's nice to get dressed up and go out. It's the last night that the senior class will be together, besides graduation."