The Dance to End All Dances


Anna Finley

Finding the right prom dress is very important for girls

Maddie Dettling, Sentry Staff Reporter

It’s that time of the year again. The weather gets hotter, shorts get shorter, and classes get smaller (senioritis, anyone?). As the class of 2016 prepares to enter into the real world, they stress over graduation plans, beach week and yes, Prom. Literally the Dance to End All (high school) Dances, prom infiltrates students’ minds from the minute the weather starts to look like spring. Girls stress over what dress to choose, how they should do their hair and makeup, what shoes to wear, and prepping to look their absolute best when the time comes, while boys usually just try to outdo each other with the asking.

The big cliché is that kids spend their high school years planning and dreaming of their prom night, but that’s not exactly the case. Most are too caught up in the bustle of their senior years to worry about the event until it’s right in front of them. When asked if they had thought about prom before, most replied that it hadn’t crossed their mind before this year, and for senior Daniel DeButts, before this month.

I realized that I was probably ‘supposed’ to have a date and I think some girls find it important to have a date, so I figured why not,” he added.

Senior Chris Radke felt similarly, though not to the same extent.

“I never thought about it too much prior to this year just because it never really was a worry but I always knew it was a big deal to most people. I started thinking about it seriously when I needed to figure out a date, and VERY seriously when I needed (and still am trying) to make plans for prom and after it,” explained Radke.

Likewise, senior Christina McBride hadn’t given the event much thought until recently.

“I started thinking about it this year because I have a great group of friends and that got me excited about going in a big group and having a fun night out with them,” McBride said.

For senior Marit Riley, the dance signifies a last hurrah with her classmates before parting ways for good.

“I started thinking about it when senior year started and I was like wow, so much stuff happens senior year, so many firsts but also so many lasts, like the last high school football game,” she reflected.

Senior Katie McCool has mentally prepared a bit more, as she began thinking about the event at the beginning of her time here, four years ago.

“I have thought about prom since around freshman year. I’ve always wondered what it will be like,” she said.

When it comes to preparing for the event, outfits seem to be the most important aspect. After all, you can’t just wear a big t-shirt to prom! Well, you can if you’re into that, but there are a few better ways to make a statement. Radke had this in mind when planning and coordinating clothing with his date.

Really just thinking about the outfit, the right tuxedo with the right dress can make everything look perfect. I was focused on that a lot when it comes to preparing over the past few months,” he mentioned.

On the other end of the spectrum falls DeButts.

“I don’t have a tux, still don’t know where the venue is, and just asked my date to prom very recently,” said DeButts.

All the primping and prepping put into the night could take a strain on one’s wallet, but that doesn’t seem to be the case with McBride.

“Over the past few months, the only thing I’ve done is pick my dress! I have a strong feeling my friends and I will end up waiting until the last minute to make a real plan. [My date] said he’d buy my prom ticket but I might hide the $35 in his backpack or something,” McBride explained.

For Riley and Radke, the process has been a bit more expensive and complicated.

“Dress shopping online, that was kind of stressful but I eventually found one I really love. What else, going to the gym. My dress was like $150. And then my shoes were $100. I’m gonna pay to get my hair and nails done which will add up, but I think the group I’m going with to prom wants to do a potluck dinner at someone’s house so that will be nice to not have to spend money on dinner,” Riley said.

Planning the party friends will go to after the main event adds more of a strain to preparations for prom, as is the case for Radke.

I also have to plan and create an after party for people to enjoy themselves at which can be fun yet stressful. $35 for the ticket, then double that since I’m buying my date her ticket, then I needed to get a tux shirt to go with a tux I already had so I bought a Givenchy shirt for $150,” Radke said.

When June 3rd finally arrives, all these preparations (or lack thereof) will culminate in a fun night to celebrate the end of their time in high school. For girls, the day will be spent perfecting hair and makeup, fixing wardrobe malfunctions, and finding the perfect nail color to match their dress. Guys too, will spend the day ensuring they are well groomed and suited up for the big night. All of this is followed by dinner, and of course, pictures. Senior Austin Carroll’s schedule fits this to a T.

“On the day of prom, I plan on getting a haircut and going to buy my tuxedo. We will take pictures at the monument and then head to dinner in DC. After, we will go to the dance. Overall, I’m excited! Prom is always a big deal at Yorktown in my opinion and it’s awesome to see how people get asked and how much fun everything is going to be on prom night,” he said.

And finally, because who doesn’t love a good prom ask, here are a few favorites:


“It took me a while to think about how I was going to ask but I was pretty confident about who my date was. I asked my date on the Dailies, which ended up working out perfectly for me.” -Austin Carroll


“My beautiful friend Sean Muth asked me to prom with a sign that said “‘You’re the one that I want’ to go to prom with” because we both love the movie Grease. He drove me home, played that song, and when he parked outside my house he grabbed the sign and white roses from his trunk and asked me! I loved it because no one brokered the deal and it was a huge surprise.” -Christina McBride
“I asked this incredible girl by getting my friends to set up their cars, blocking traffic in a parking lot, and facing the cars in one direction so when she left work she would see the giant ‘P-R-O-M-?’ written across our windshields. She came out of work and saw it and I had flowers and everything. It had me nervous — I won’t lie.” -Chris Radke