Prom Dresses are among the highlights of a woman’s life. However, when did the prom tradition begin? The proms today are lavish affairs that come complete with hotel ballrooms, live bands, stunning clothing, and stretch limos. As the first formal affair in the lifetime of a teenager, attendance at the prom is already known to be regarded as an important rite of passage to adulthood. But, proms weren’t always so luxurious, expensive, or widespread. At one point during their history, proms were in fact fairly simple affairs.
Proms were first noted in the high school yearbooks of the 1930s and 1940s, however, historians believe they may have existed since the late 1800s. Proms first started in the exclusive universities of the Northeast, having their signal from the debutante balls of the rich and well bred. Middle class parents adored the poise and composure of debutantes and their escorts and began to initiate formal dances as a way of instilling social skills and social manners in their kids. The dances were totally chaperoned and were often restricted to only the senior class.
The formal dance we now call prom was initially christened “the prom” in the 1890s. The word prom is a shortened form of promenade, which means a march of the visitors in the beginning of a ball or some other formal party. In the early years of high school proms, the evening dance served the same function to a debutante ball. Earlier proms were times of firsts; the very first adult social event for teens, the first time taking the family car out at night, the first true dress-up event, and so forth. Proms as well served as picture-taking functions, a lot like a first communion or wedding, wherein the participants were taking a significant step into a whole new stage in their lives. In early days, the prom might have likewise served as an announcement of engagement for the “best couple” after the prom court had been crowned and acknowledged.
Even though high school yearbooks don’t begin covering proms and including prom photographs before the 1930s and 1940s, historians believe that proms could possibly have been around at colleges since the late 1800s. The journal of a male student at Amherst College in 1894 accounts an invite and also trip to an early promenade at neighboring Smith College for girls. The term prom back then may just have been a fancy description for an ordinary junior or senior class dance, however it would soon take on larger-than-life meaning for high school students.
Prom Dresses which were used and the prom itself continue to be a significant party in a teenager’s life. The importance of prom and promenade motifs in well-known literature and movies attests to its importance at the secondary school level. Nonetheless, while costs and luxury themes for prom go on to rise, proms are also starting to grow more and more liberal in the twenty-first century. Today it is not at all times expected for a teen to have a date to go to the prom — and also a lot of teenagers are preferring to attend the prom in groups, making the evening less of a date event and more of a significant way to rejoice secondary school friendships.
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