By: Jaclyn Kotora, Editorial Staff (‘23)

It’s that time of year— posh outfits, lavish venues, loud music, bad dancing, Instagram pictures, and assortments of food served buffet style. On May 26, Indian Hills held junior prom at the local Portobellos. Senior prom took place on June 2nd at the Venetian in Garfield.

Junior prom marked one of the first times that the Class of 2023 has had a chance to be all together in the same room since the beginning of the pandemic. Although many were excited about this quintessential high school event, many held some reservations about the venue. While Portobello is a classy, respectable restaurant and banquet hall, it may not have been the most appropriate venue for this large festivity. Even before the event took place, complaints circulated about the location, especially from Oakland students, many of whom had their Valley Middle School 8th grade dance at the same banquet. In an anonymous survey, individuals expressed: “​​Same place as my eighth-grade dance. Took the special occasion feeling out of the night.” “It was very cramped on the dance floor”; “It did not have a lot of space”; “It felt like the floor was going to cave in”; “not appropriate for our group”;  “​​I think the venue was nice but small for our grade”. 

However, given the circumstances, prom was as good as it could have been. The food was decent, the photo booth was popular, the tables were made well, and the vibe was generally positive and energetic. There were mixed opinions about the DJ and music. Some students expressed that the music was good, while others had complaints about the song selection, music being too loud, and awkward remixes and transitions between songs. One student expressed, “The music was almost entirely the same beat; you couldn’t dance to it so everyone fell to jumping for the most part. It was also SO loud…also some diversity of music would have been nice – it was all the same pop/techno/dubstep tune… I was with a bunch of people who also didn’t know the songs and it was really hard to do anything when it was the same exact beat repeating eternally.”

A large majority of attendees of the junior prom shared that the social aspect and the people made the night. When asked about their favorite part of the event, people responded: “it was a lot of fun to talk with everyone all dressed up”,  “dancing with my friends”, “everybody looked nice”, “being with my friends”, and “my table”.  One individual noted, “I think the best part though was the people who were there. I think our grade is very close and that made it more fun.” 

On average, junior prom was rated a 3.3 out of 5 stars.

As for senior prom, June 2nd marked an ending and a celebration of seniors’ high school careers, as they began the festivities at the Venetian. Overall, senior prom proved to be a big hit. From the atmosphere to the food, to the venue, this year’s senior prom provided a great, memorable night. 

Attendees shared with Drumbeats that perhaps the best part of senior prom was the food and venue. “The venue was amazing! Servers were great and the outdoor area provided a nice break”; “I LOVED the food. The variety was great”; “The food was great, and the Venetian was such a beautiful place”, “Dessert had a really good selection. I was impressed. cocktail hour was amazing”; “Food was off the charts”; “Perfect, dessert was astronomical”; and “Phenomenal!” were some of the many positive comments people shared. The venue was very fitting for this senior prom, providing a beautiful, spacious space with chandeliers, mesmerizing designs and architecture, and a gorgeous outdoor setting with waterfalls and couches as well.

The only thing that would make the night even better was the music. Students expressed that the DJ wasn’t that great and that there was not a lot of variety in the music choices. 

Senior Sydney Schwerzler shared that “he changed the songs too fast and half the time he was playing music nobody knew”. Another student also shared, “[The DJ] didn’t know how to get the room excited. There were a lot of people staying at their tables all night”. 

Another place for improvement was having more vegan/vegetarian food options and being more considerate of students with food allergies. One student shared, “Please for the future just think about people with allergies and maybe make an area for them to collect food instead of mixing it with the normal food that they possibly cannot have.”

Despite the mediocre music, many seniors expressed that prom lived up to their expectations. One attendee shared that it was an “overall a positive experience that was very memorable”. Students rated senior prom a solid 4.1 out of 5 stars.