UHS Hosts Prom at Yost Theater

Nour Khayat, Staff Writer 

On April 30th, University High School had its first in-person prom since the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, juniors and seniors had the opportunity to attend the “Happily Ever After” themed dance at the Yost Theater in Santa Ana, California. 

In the spring of 2020, with the uncertainty of the new pathogen spreading around the world, prom was canceled, leaving juniors and seniors without an end-of-year dance. The next year in 2021, seniors were given a special prom to wrap up their senior year and high school experience. However, many cautionary protocols were put in place and it did not mimic past years’ prom before the pandemic.

The junior class, led by junior class president Ryan Alavi, planned the prom, picking out the theme and venue as well as other aspects of the dance.

“We have been separated and split up both from each other and all of the fun at Uni,” Alavi said. “So, with this being our first prom back, the students at Uni, especially the seniors, were back together and celebrating happily ever after.”

Leading up to the spring dance, prom tickets were put up for sale starting April 11th at $65 with ASB and $75 without ASB. Prices increased as the weeks progressed and reached a peak of $100 for those who purchased their ticket at the door. Along with ticket sales advertised on the University High School Instagram page, prom court nominations opened up on April 23rd. 

On the day of prom, students prepared for their pictures and dinners. The senior class organized to meet at Colonel Bill Barber Marine Corps Memorial Park, through the UHS Class of 2022 Instagram account. 

Seniors began arriving at Bill Barber Park at around 4 p.m. and began filing out around 6 p.m. as many headed to their dinner reservations leading up to the dance starting at 8 p.m. 

The Yost Theater’s red neon letters outside of the building could be seen from down the street as UHS students walked from their cars to be welcomed at the entrance by staff and chaperones checking student identification cards.

The 2022 prom has been the first UHS dance to not require negative-COVID tests or vaccination status upon entrance to the dance.

When entering the Yost Theater, colorful lights could be seen highlighting different areas of the stage and dance floor as well as cushioned sitting areas along the sides of the theater. Confetti and massive balloon balls traveled throughout the crowd as they danced. 

Waiting areas, as well as chips and dips were offered right outside the entrance for student’s to take a quick break from the dance floor. 

The venue was amazing at taking our original vision and then working with their team and equipment to make it happen,” Alavi said. “The vibe was really good, the food and snacks were amazing, and the night played out just as we envisioned.” 

The theater had multiple levels. The dance floor was separated on its lowest level, in front of the stage where a DJ was playing a variety of music. There were also staircases on either side of the theater, leading up to a terrace, where students could take a break from the noise and gaze at the scene below. 

“I was extremely pleased with the turnout,” Alavi said. “As the night went on, the energy just got higher and higher. Whether people were moshing, slow dancing, taking photos, or even just chilling on the second floor, it was clear everyone was enjoying themselves.” 

About an hour into prom, dancing was put on hold as the 2022 University High School Prom King and Queen were announced. The winners of the night were seniors Christina Yue and Quinlan Tobin. 

As time came closer to 11 p.m., students started to file out of the theater and head home from the festivities. 

Even though this was the Saturday before AP tests, it was a good way for people to get their mind off of school and off of their stress for a few hours and just have fun,” Alavi said. “Students at Uni know how to work hard, but they also know how to enjoy themselves and the people around them too.”