Post-prom: Students reflect on celebration with peers

Juniors, seniors and guests dance at the beginning of the 2022 prom, which was held at the Jonathon Beach Club in Santa Monica April 23. Video by Kristin Taylor

By Thea Leimone, Features Editor

The night was filled with sandy feet, slow dances and Spanish rice. The 2022 junior and senior prom lasted from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Saturday, April 23. Students arrived with friends and dates decked out in dresses and suits of every color. Attendees spent the night dancing by the beach at the Jonathan Beach Club and eating from the buffet of quesadillas, rice, chicken and more.

I was excited off the bat, but I think it was a lot bigger than I expected it to be. And it was really fun because mostly everyone was dancing the whole time. And if you didn’t want to do that, you could just sit down,” junior Paulina DePaulo said. “It was really fun. It was very lively — [there was] lots of energy.”

It was really fun. It was very lively — [there was] lots of energy.”

— Paulina DePaulo ('23)

The night provided students with a chance to spend time with their peers and teacher chaperones in a non-academic environment. Junior Lucy Brodsky said she appreciated the opportunity to escape the stressors of academics while spending time with a large group of Archer students.

I thought prom was a lot of fun,” Brodsky said. “I love so many things about the Archer culture, but one of the things that I don’t love is the high stress environment that sometimes exists in the academic side of the culture, and I think it’s great that everybody who put the prom together gave us a chance to get away from that.”

The outdoor venue was set up with a tented area with seating and buffets and provided space to dance, eat or talk throughout the evening. Extending from the tented space was the wood-paneled dance floor and DJ station. There was also an open sand area with standing tables for students to snack and talk at.

“I actually liked the outdoor setup just because it allowed for people to step away and go hang out on the sand if they wanted [to go] away from that middle dance floor. You could also just have fun and hang out in the central area too,” DePaulo said. “I thought it was really well thought out.”

For the senior class, prom created a space for students to connect before they enter their final month of school.

It was great — [I was] just glad to have some form of celebration with my fellow senior class before we all leave and head off to college,” senior Layla Huber-Verjan said. “I loved seeing everyone’s dresses. Everyone looked so pretty and fabulous.”

Although some believe that the uptick in COVID-19 cases the following week was due to prom and weekend gatherings like this, they still reported being happy they attended.

Excitement over seeing peers dressed up for the event was a sentiment fellow senior Lily Kerner shared. Some students got ready for the prom in groups, such as the senior pre-prom that was hosted by senior Grace Doyle.

“Everyone looked beautiful, and it was so lovely seeing everyone and their dresses and the makeup and all that,” Kerner said. “It was a nice way to see everyone in a different way because we’re in sweatpants and jeans or skirts [at school], and it was [a] really nice time to connect with people.”