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Seniors Dive Into an Underwater Fantasy

Posted 04/26/2010 by Rhea Boyd

Prom and After Prom of 2010 is a night that will not be forgotten by the seniors and their dates.

Jared Lewis and Shanel Hughes celebrate winning prom king and queen. Photo by Rebecca Holt

Jared Lewis and Shanel Hughes celebrate winning Prom King and Queen. Photo by Rebecca Holt

On Saturday April 24th, the class of 2010 celebrated the end of their four years at TJ with their classmates at the Prom, hosted at the Denver Aquarium.

The theme was fit for the venue and the dance attendees dressed to impress, many wearing blues and greens. An array of buses and limos arrived at the doors around 8:00 p.m. dropping off many different groups of excited seniors and their dates. “I felt like we were riding in style in our bus, and the people on board were a blast. I couldn’t have picked a better group!” said Senior Paige Milstein.

Monitoring the door and ticket booth was Class Sponsor, Aimee Witulski. Once inside the aquarium the students were given the opportunity to wander the exhibit until 10:00 p.m., enjoying the vast variety of fish and other aquatic animals. The interesting setting made for beautiful photographs of the different couples and their friends. A highlight of the exhibit for many was the hands-on stingray showcase.

The actual dance was located inside the aquarium’s ballroom. The music was bumping and students covered the relatively small dance floor. Tables surrounded the area, offering the students a break from dancing with their friends and dates.  A large table provided numerous beverages and snacks to quench their thirst and hunger. “It was really exciting to come together one last time and be a class, on and off the dance floor,” said Senior Tino Lamorie.

Also open to the soon-to-be graduates was the aquarium’s café.  Inside were more tanks of exotic fish and large chairs for enjoying some down time. “I really enjoyed the event. It looked like all the students had a great time and it was a fantastic venue. The exhibit gave you something to do besides dancing,” said Assistant Principal Scott Lessard.

Nearing the end of the night, the most anticipated crowning of the year happened. The DJ brought up the nominees and the mass of students gathered around to watch. Jared Lewis and Shanel Hughes were elected by their classmates as Prom King and Queen, and they excitedly accepted their flowers and crowns.

The gathering at the Denver Aquarium ended at about 11:00 p.m., and students piled back into their vehicles to their next destination: After Prom, held at TJ. Many prom goers changed into especially individualized t-shirts or just more comfortable attire.

The energetic seniors were welcomed into the school through a tunnel built to look like the jaws of a shark. As they walked through the passage the walls surrounding them were hand painted to represent the theme: R.A.D.D. The parents and volunteers who put their hard work into the transformation of the school and choosing the theme were sworn to secrecy during the weeks prior to Prom. When the students came in through the front doors, the meaning of the acronym became known: R.A.D.D. was Rocking Around the Different Decades. Each painted panel featured the symbols of a different decade.

Inside the gym were various activities for the students to choose from. Racing down the hall on three-wheeled bikes, laser tag, a blow up twister game and a volleyball court were among the most popular events. Sandwiches, vegetables and a range of beverages were available for the students to munch and sip on to maintain their energy. “My favorite thing about After Prom was the laser tag. I also liked the tug-of-war basketball game. I played with Tino and beat him!” said Senior Paige Wilson.

The less physical – but still enjoyed – activities included face painting and glitter tattooing, card games with volunteer dealers, Rock Band (the video game), watching movies and lounging in the café.

The parents of the senior class were asked by the After Prom Committee to create posters for their kids with photos from different times in their lives, allowing room for their peers to write them messages. They were hung in the halls for viewing enjoyment.

As the night progressed the parents had prizes for students who were attending the event. Some students even won eMachines, U Dance games, flat screen TVs, and iPod docks, along with many cards to different restaurants and shops. Each one each received a specialized bag with gift certificates and coupons.

After Prom was created to give the students a safe haven after the dance. Prom goers were encouraged to stay until the end, 5:00 a.m., and given many things to do to stay entertained until then. The event is put on by the dedicated parents of 2010 who began fund raising years ahead of time. The setting was built from the ground up by the same parents days in advance, and was fully assembled the day of the event.

Overall the night was packed full of memories the seniors will have for a lifetime. This special occasion highlights were the original and exciting venue, dancing to good music, and a fun-filled After Prom, all accompanied by being with the people students have grown close to at TJ.