Senior Senior Prom–Happy Valentine’s Day 2009!

Juanita Matby and Gordon Newman, February 21, 2008 Tigard High School
Juanita Matby and Gordon Newman, February 21, 2008 Tigard High School

I had never heard of a senior citizen senior prom until last week.  But in the spirit of St. Valentine’s Day, with its celebration of youthful romantic love, I decided to learn “What the heck is a senior senior prom?!”  What I discovered is a delightful idea that combines the youthful energy of high school and college students with the timeless wisdom of our elders.

We all know the indispensable ingredients of a prom which can transform an average evening and high school gymnasium into a magical wonderland.  Happily, some high schools and colleges have begun to encourage their senior students to host a senior citizen prom, or a “senior senior prom.”  A “senior senior prom” gives the prom a whole new significance—but most of the original recipe’s flavors are still there.  Any “senior senior prom” hosted by students will usually include:

  • Dress-up clothes and flowers
  • Dining and dancing
  • The crowning of a prom king and queen
  • Plenty of socializing (but now it’s intergenerational!)

The new senior senior prom idea is hot.  High schools, colleges, assisted living facilities, community groups, and even churches have begun to host these remarkable events.  Lizzie Mytty, writing for her college’s Marquette Tribune, wrote, “When the music started playing, students and seniors alike crowded the dance floor to do the twist, dance to the electric slide, and form conga lines.”  She went on to add, “It’s a success in… connecting students and senior citizens.  At the prom, seniors and students dressed in formal wear, talked, laughed, and danced to music from the 1920s to today.”

Encouraging today’s students to host today’s senior citizens and really get to know each other pays big dividends.  Senior citizens and students build bridges of friendship and communication.  Both groups throw away their negative ideas about the other.

If you are interested in helping to kick off a senior senior prom in your community, here are links to a few resources:

The Marquette Tribune
The Astra Chapter of the National Honor Society
The Daily Emerald; “Young at Heart Prom”

If you have ever attended or hosted a “Senior Senior Prom” please comment and tell us all about it, we would love to know more from the readers who are close to our hearts.  And may all of our readers enjoy a happy St. Valentine’s Day!

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