Seeking Forward to Prom Season

If you have a daughter of school age, you know what a Prom is. But while much anxiety, worry, and anxiousness accompanies the occasion for the youngster, you may not understand exactly where the tradition got its begin. Many nations hold Proms for students graduating from high school or its equivalent, but the occasion has a lengthy and royal history that is forgotten amongst the prom dresses, the tuxedos, the close friends, and pictures.

The tradition started in France, where a Presentation Ball was held for young ladies who had been getting presented to society for the 1st time. The young aristocrat was known as a Debutante, and the ball was her Debutante Ball. The word Debutante has French roots also, getting translated loosely as one who is generating her “debut.”

A debutante ball in the United States is employed much more frequently in the South, and some other nations. Debutantes are usually advised by a distinguished committee or sponsored by an established member of elite society. Contemporary debutante balls are usually charity events: the parents of the debutante donate a specific amount of income to the designated result in, and the invited guests pay for their tickets. These balls may be elaborate formal affairs and involve not only “debs” but junior debutantes, escorts and ushers, flower girls and pages as nicely.

The tradition has moved from the sole purview of the aristocratic society to cross all social classes, and the term Prom (short for “promenade” – the British version of the tradition) is a portion of high school life for every higher schooler in the U.S. These days the tradition is a day extended affair, or sometimes even longer, with the couple planning excursions prior to and soon after the actual occasion with a huge group of close friends tagging along for the complete affair. The Prom is considered a rite of passage by the students, and is looked forward to the entire year.

Peaking of the event itself, it is typically a formal dance — or, in locations or schools where dancing is not permitted, a banquet. The fellows dress in tuxedos and the ladies have spent great care in picking the best prom dress for the particular occasion. Many schools hold a Junior Prom and a Senior Prom, for Junior and senior classmen, respectively. Some schools combine the two, and with that, a student can end up attending two or three higher college proms, and at least one junior higher college prom. Which produces a number of prom dresses in the closet for a high college graduating girl these days.

American Princess ( sells prom dresses. Art Gib is a freelance writer.