This Article is About
high school proms
high school prom
social graces
world war ii
mom and dad
High School Proms Over The Years
Join 1000's of Authors at StreetArticles Today!

Each year finds high school teens brimming over with excitement as they prepare for their long-awaited event – their high school prom. With each passing decade, proms over the years have painted a picture that tells much about the generation and its culture.

Proms Through the Late 1800s and Early 1900s

The high school prom grew out of the popularity of college formal dances of the late 19th and first decades of the 20th century. In an era where most college students came from upper class families, these events became highlighted arenas for the upper crust and a training ground for entrance into society's elite circles. By the "Roaring 20s," in the aftermath of World War I, flappers were turning up their hemlines, bobbing their hair and humming the strands of "in the morning, in the evening, ain't we got fun?"

Colleges Lay Groundwork for Later Proms Over the Years

College proms flourished until the Depression years and World War II made them appear too frivolous for the more serious issues of the day, even if the rich could still afford to sponsor such events. Proms over the years following World War II proms began to flourish on high school campuses. Thus began the rite of passage from youth into adulthood known today as the high school prom.

By the 1950s, proms were in full swing.

Postwar Years

Its difficult to think about the 1950s, high school teens, dancing and proms without conjuring up associations of ever-present pent-up teenage hormones that accompanies these terms. As teens left behind both the safety of home and family, the high school prom marked the ending of life as they knew it with Mom and Dad and the transition into the world of work and responsibility. Adult role models emphasized societal acceptance, which meant knowing how to conduct one's self in society, follow proper social etiquette and practice social graces.

Proms through the years of the 1960s and early 1970s continued to serve as training grounds for entrance into polite society. Proms grew into increasingly formal affairs. Young ladies' attire slowly transitioned from ankle-length tea dresses of the late 1940s to satin, taffeta, netting and lace concoctions floor-length ball gowns. Tuxedos and tails became standard evening fashion for young men.

Less Restriction, More Freedom Affects High School Proms

By the late 1960s and early 1970s, ideas about freedom combined with Vietnam and post-war emotions of the Beat Generation. Flower children let their hair down and simplified prom attire they found stiff and restrictive. By the late 1970s, cotton eyelet, daisy-bedecked long dresses allowed more intensive gyrations on the dance floor. A growing individuality among students found the occasional mother's wedding dress or tea dress on a young prom attendee. The era was a time for self-expression and individuality. Guys traded black-and-white tuxedos for pastel blues, yellows, greens and grays – with jacket lapels as wide as the smiles on their faces.

Proms Turn Disco

The 1980s brought movies like "Saturday Night Fever," "Stayin' Alive" and John Travolta dance moves. The '80s gave youngsters Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" and "Thriller." Culture Club's Boy George, Phil Collins, Loverboy and Cindi Lauper each held center stage, if only for a few brief moments in prom history.

Rounding Out the Century

Music Television (MTV) first appeared during the 1980s, but by the 1990s, it had indoctrinated a new generation of teens. Music had always demanded dancing and appropriate garments that permitted in-vogue dance moves. MTV brought with it the visuals. Dance names like the Butt and the Electric Slide joined in with breakdancing, the Egyptian, the Worm and moves one had to see to believe, and to learn how to maneuver.

Enter the 21st Century and the Modern Prom

By 2000, Hollywood and its Red Carpet arrived in home towns everywhere. A profusion of proms over the years included nostalgic music in resurrected songs like "Stairway to Heaven" and "Wonderful Tonight." Television series "Sex and the City" and their iconic New York career-oriented characters influenced the prom scene. New York and city prom themes flourished, as did romantic themes that incorporated Paris, Rome, Venice and Around the World into their titles.,

High school proms over the years have served useful purposes and promise to continue as long as – well, as long as teenagers keep coming along. Short of war, severe economic conditions or unforeseen disasters, proms remain the means of choice for "steppin' out" before graduation and stepping into young adulthood.

Street Talk

No comments present
You May Also Like
When it Comes to High School Proms, Choose A Generic Prom Theme for Easier Decorating
It's the time when preparations for high school proms are in full swing. As Goldilocks was fond of saying, "This one's too soft," or "This one's too hard." Finding a prom theme that is "just right" for your school is only as tough as you choose to make it. In…
By:  in  Reference and Education  >  K 12   Mar 21, 2011  
  Likes: 1

Advantages of Using Balloon Decorations at a Prom or Party
To use balloon decorations or not to use balloon decorations? That is the question for prom planning committees again this year. True, decorating with balloons is something everyone does. True, it's been done before. And done. And done. True, you see them everywhere. Your school committee wants the awe factor.…
By:  in  Reference and Education  >  K 12   Mar 28, 2011  
  Likes: 1

High School Prom And Party Decorations – Not What they Used to Be
Deciding upon high school prom and party decorations has become more complicated than ever. Teachers and prom advisers find they must begin preparations far ahead of the actual date. Already overburdened teachers produce modern-day affairs that rival a talented maestro's conducting a symphony. While some schools have turned to professional…
By:  in  Reference and Education  >  K 12   Mar 06, 2011  
  Likes: 0

Cheap Helium Balloons: The Perfect Way to Decorate for Any Event, Guaranteed
If you have ever been put in charge of decorating an event, you will know that there are some times when the budget does not leave a lot of room for much of anything. From a high school prom to a child’s birthday party to a wedding or anniversary, using…
By: Simone Seyfred in  Shopping and Product Reviews   Apr 12, 2011  
  Likes: 1

Ashley Greene, Donatemydressorg And Other Organizations Help Girls Go to the Prom
Ashley Greene has been named spokesperson for, an organization that helps young teens find affordable prom dresses. Her hope is that other girls will join her in donating prom dresses they no longer need so that others who cannot afford a new formal can still attend their high school…
By:  in  Reference and Education  >  K 12   Mar 22, 2011  
  Likes: 0

5 Reasons Why Extracurricular Activities Are Important
‘All work and no play make Jack a dull boy’ We all are aware of this proverb very well. Much emphasis has been laid on the fact that extracurricular activities form an integral part of a kid’s curriculum. With plethora of schools coming up recently, the main focus has always…
By: Dis Dwarka in  Reference and Education  >  K 12   May 12, 2016  
  Likes: 0

Benefits And Importance OF Tuition Classes
Tuition centre is a name given to private educational institutions running in parallel with schools. There was a time when only weak students preferred to go tuition centres for extra academic help. But nowadays, along with the increase in competition, craze of tuition centres is also grooming among the good…
By: Vishwajeet in  Reference and Education  >  K 12   Mar 05, 2016  
  Likes: 1

Cbse Schools In Gurgaon: Widely Acknowledged Curriculums
CBSE is a widely acknowledged curriculum specially for students who want to further attempt competitive examinations. Having just the correct books is not enough – a productive and healthy environment along with an encouraging faculty will make a world of difference in your child’s education. To enable an accurate comparison…
By: Amit Sharma in  Reference and Education  >  K 12   Aug 14, 2015  
  Likes: 0

Preschool Mckinney Tx: Why Your Child Needs Pre - k Education
Enrolling your child in preschool McKinney TX is one of the best things you can do for their future social and academic success. Children as young as 18 months can benefit from a quality preschool program. Some of the advantages of early childhood education include learning how to share, follow…
By: John M. Carter in  Reference and Education  >  K 12   Jan 21, 2016  
  Likes: 0

Best Schools In Delhi – NCR - Imparting Quality Education for Better Tomorrow
Education is the foundation of your child’s life. Right from the time a child is born, in some way or their learning process starts. It is the dream of every parent that their child gets admission in one of the best schools of the area. After all, kind of teachings…
By: Amit Sharma in  Reference and Education  >  K 12   Jul 22, 2015  
  Likes: 0

Redefining the Quality Of Education!
There has been felt urgent need to improve the quality of education in India. India is one of the fastest growing countries in the world. There have come several changes however one sector which still needs to be improved is that of education sector. Schools imparting education at primary level…
By: Ashu Thakran in  Reference and Education  >  K 12   Nov 25, 2015  
  Likes: 0

Comparison on Three Types Top International Schools In Singapore - Part Two
This article, I will introduce the IB curriculum in detail, then parents can consider whether should send your kids enter top ib school in Singapore. The speciality of IB curriculum The iB curriculum is designed by IBO organization, which was founded in Switzerland Geneva in 1968. It is aimed to…
By: sorasg in  Reference and Education  >  K 12   Nov 11, 2015  
  Likes: 0

How to Find the Best Preschool Summer Camp In Frisco TX
Give your child a head start on kindergarten with the best preschool summer camp in Frisco TX. Kids participate in games, sports and social activities to introduce them to formal schooling in a fun way. The best preschool summer camps combine academic and physical activity with artistic subjects. Using established…
By: Sonia B. Grissom in  Reference and Education  >  K 12   Aug 14, 2015  
  Likes: 0

Cisco 642 - 437 Cvoice Practice Questions
ccnp2015 cisco 642-437 cvoice practice questions contain the complete unrestricted dump. So with it you can easily pass the exam. ccnp2015 cisco 642-437 cvoice practice questions are a good guidance. It is the best training materials. You can use the questions and answers of ccnp2015 cisco 642-437 cvoice practice questions…
By: harrison1 in  Reference and Education  >  K 12   Aug 30, 2014  
  Likes: 0

What Is Your Idea Of A Good Summer?
When students finish the school year, they often wave goodbye to their friends and say, "Have a good summer!" They then go home to begin their summer break. A person's idea of a "good" summer depends on what his goals are and whether he accomplishes them. What is your idea…
By: Hollie E. Townsend in  Reference and Education  >  K 12   May 25, 2013  
  Likes: 0

Article Views: 4548    Report this Article