Throwback Prom Experience

Business teacher Howard Dwyer reflects on his prom in 1993


Dwyer attending prom in 1983 at West Springfield High School.

Prom was vastly different in 1983 than it was now in 2016. As the years have passed, prom has become more of a luxurious event. 20 years ago, prom was usually held in a gym, where as now it is held in much nicer places such as hotels and even cruises.

“I only paid $20 for prom tickes for both me and my prom date,” business teacher Howard Dwyer said.

Attending prom in 1984 was much cheaper than it is today. Annandale’s prom tickets are going on sale for $45 per person, so a student who pays for their date will be covering expenses of at least $90.

On top of the cost of tickets, boys must pay for tuxedos, and girls must pay for dresses. Tux rentals go for about $150 to $250 today. However, tux rentals in 1984 were about $85 to $100 for prom.

Girls can pay upwards of $300 to 400 for a dress. These prices may affect attendance, as many do not want to pay hundreds of dollars for a school dance.

Prom is usually a senior only event, as it serves as their once last dance they’ll attend in high school.

“West Springfield prom was an all senior prom,” Mr.Dwyer said.

Unless a senior asked an underclassmen, they did not attend.

“I went to three proms,” Mr. Dwyer said, “My first was my senior prom, and I got asked twice while I was in college,”.

Before, prom was not a big deal. Promposals play a much bigger role today, as students try to show off their asks. Nowadays, promposals are posted all over social media to receive likes, retweets or favorites.The pressure to have the best ask to post is bigger than ever.

“I didn’t asked my girlfriend to prom, it was implied,” Mr.Dwyer said. “I think I may have said something while we were both at the movies, but it was much more laid back than some of the asks I’ve seen today.”

Annadale’s prom will be held on June 3rd, at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center, from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. Seniors, make sure to buy your tickets to enjoy your last high school dance.