Blackfoot Valley Dispatch - The Blackfoot Valley's News Source Since 1980

By Roger Dey

Preparing for a 21st Century Prom


April 18, 2018

Roger Dey

Class Advisor Joanie Templeton supervises as Carly Templeton and Jager Vossler move some tulle while Bridger Kamps adjusts a string of lights

Junior Prom.

As life events go, it's probably one of the most anticipated and memorable events of any student's high school experience.

But prom's don't just happen. They take a lot of coordination, cooperation and time to pull it all together.

This year, the job was led by Carly Templeton, vice president of both the Junior Class and the Student Council, and Tanea Reisch. Together, with the help of six or seven classmates, they tackled the task Friday of making sure Cane Ridge West looked it's best for the big night Saturday.

"We've been planning it all year, pretty much," Carly said. She said the hardest part was trying to get stuff in on time and done on time.

Tanea, taking a break from working with the boys who were helping - between sporadic rubber band battles - hang lights and other decorations that required more height, shared a slightly different perspective. "Making sure everyone's on the same page has been the biggest challenge," she said.

Although the lingering deep snow, the abundance of silver, white, purple and teal decorations and the stray blonde wig with a plaited pony tail suggested the prom was going the "Frozen" route for a theme, Carly said the Junior Class actually took the advice of this year's Seniors, who advised them to forgo a theme entirely.

"We were told that if you do no theme, it's just better to decorate, because you don't have to decorate (for something specific), and it's just a lot cheaper," she said.

As for the seemingly theme-specific decorations?

"It's all from years ago," Carly said. "We've just been re-using what we have. We bought a few new things."

Templeton said they staged the decorations in the school library so they could load them up first thing last Friday morning for the trip to Cane Ridge West.

Despite the road conditions, which necessitated going the backway down the 4x4 Road, Templeton said they chose Cane Ridge West for the atmosphere. "We like the setting of coming down the stairs, and it's easy to decorate. It's just really pretty," she said.

Class advisor Joanie Templeton, who recalled that her own Junior Prom was held at the Lincoln Community Hall, said prom locations tend to rotate between Cane Ridge, the Hall and the school gym, depending on the class.

"The Hall would have been great to, but anywhere you go, parking has been an issue, with the snow load," she said.

Along with a theme, the class this year also chose to make do without a couple other staples of a high school proms.

The traditional prom photographer fell by the wayside. Joanie said art teacher April Erickson, whose son Payton Peterson attended his last prom before graduating, handled the photographs of the couples and posted them online for the students to download.

Perhaps most surprisingly, at least among slightly older generations: No band. Not even a professional DJ.

Instead, - in true 21st Century digital fashion - they're music was provided by a Spotify playlist.

Roger Dey

Carly Templeton waits on a ladder for help putting up a decoration.

"It's actually a lot nicer, I think," said Carly. "We kind of picked our own music, and let the school pick the music, so everybody will like the music we're playing, instead of someone just playing what they think we'll like."

Joanie, whose own class hired a DJ, said the way music is being handled is probably the biggest change she's seen.

"Other than that, music, food, dancing and some great decorations and you've got a party," she said.

As a song playing from a student's phone filled Cane Ridge West Friday, Joanie said she was surprised that the thing that seems to have more staying power than anything else is the music the kids chose, which included several hits from the 1980's and 90's.

Or maybe Dexy's Midnight Runners just staged an underground comeback that only the kids know about. Either way, it's got a good beat and they can dance to it.


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