Dressed Up to Get Down- Senior Prom 2021


The class of 2021 shares one more dance, jamming out to The YMCA.

Olivia Schelling and Cole Bennett

Welcome to Prom night. A magical evening where High School dreams come true. Due to, well, everything about 2020, the Senior class has missed out on a lot. Thankfully, they got to share one last dance on May 21st. 


The planning process for this years’ Prom was a difficult one, lasting four to five months, according to Grand Ledge High School Principal, Dr. Wright. 

“We always had to mesh everything from what the current regulations were to what we would anticipate they might be in the future, along with regular logistical problems of venues and DJs and decorations,” said Dr. Wright. 

This year, the Prom was held in the parking lot underneath a tent. This is not typical of Grand Ledge proms, which have previously been held in various venues like Spartan Stadium, Royal Scot, and the Kellogg Center. 

“I’m glad to see at least something come together, even though it’s in a parking lot, which seems kinda weird, but I think it’s also working out very well”, said Dr. Wright.


The 2021 Prom was only open for Seniors to attend. Prom attendees were required to be fully vaccinated or to test negative for COVID-19 and its symptoms 24 hours before the event started. Seniors with any potential exposure to the virus were not allowed to attend. One surprise of the night was the announcement beforehand that masks would not be required. This mandate, or lack thereof, was met with mixed reactions. 

It’s such an amazing experience, especially after an entire school year of it, it’s nice to get back to something normal”, said Senior, Collin Thomas.

 “It’s a little uncomfortable, a little bit weird but it’s a little hot outside. It’s a good thing, so I guess it’s okay”, said Senior, Analicia Buffington


Thankfully, no problems caused by that decision have arisen. Prom felt like a step toward normalcy, and a good way for the Senior class to end the year. Seeing as students were learning from home for most of the year, Prom also provided a platform for Seniors to see each other in person again. 

“I mean I haven’t seen some of these people for a year plus and it’s really nice to get in contact with everybody again, it’s really cool”, said prom attendee, Kaitlyn Newton


Even though Prom and the circumstances surrounding it were a bit different this year, some attendees still had big Prom day plans. 

JJ Sanchez and his friends arrived at Prom in style. 

“My friend group and I rented a limo and we just kinda drove around town a little bit”, said Senior, JJ Sanchez.

Senior, Kaitlyn Newton, who was also celebrating her birthday, got some burgers.

 “My friends and I went out, we got pictures together, we got ready together, and then we went out and we got Five Guys in Lansing, and we came back here and we started having a good time at prom” spoke Kaitlyn Newton. 


For Prom, the DJ and former Grand Ledge student, Nate Lehman, crafted a nostalgic throwback playlist consisting of hits from the past four years, from the class of 2021’s Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, and Senior years. It started off with classics from Freshman year: “Bad & Boujee”, “Humble”, and “I’m the One”. For Sophomore year, he played “God’s Plan”, “Bodak Yellow”, and “Sicko Mode”. The hits from Junior year were “Circles”, “Truth Hurts”, and “Ransom”. Lastly, the songs from present day, the weirdest year of them all, were “What’s Poppin’”, “Rockstar”, and “The Box”. Additionally, a number of classics were played throughout the night; “Don’t Stop Believing”, “YMCA”, “Dancing Queen”, and “Sweet Caroline” are just a few of the songs that had the Seniors dancing. 


Like most fairy tales, a King and Queen were crowned. Voting started two days prior to Prom. Anyone attending the dance was eligible to be crowned, but only two were chosen. The 2021 Prom King and Queen are Joshua Irwin and Ayla Ebaugh. Both individuals were not expecting to be crowned, but are very grateful for the opportunity. 

“I was surprised”, said Ebaugh.“It’s kinda crazy. I was definitely not expecting it. Just to be picked is truly an honor” Irwin added.


The Senior class also voted for who was best dressed at the dance.  Luke Huisken takes home the win for the males and Hallie Ackerman for the females. 


Much of the night was spent outside of the tent as well, where tables were set up. People sat and talked, catching up on the chaos that this past year has wrought. 

“People are just standing around talking. That’s what I find valuable.” mentioned prom attendee, Adrian Slear.

Overall, the night had a good turn out. Seniors were grateful for the opportunity to have a prom, especially since COVID-19 has already taken away so much. 


The 2021 Prom was unlike any other. Teachers and staff members worked for countless hours to provide the best opportunity for the Senior class, and in the end, it worked out well. 

“I think prom was very successful this year,” said Prom coordinator Tracy Clark. 

Although a tent in a parking lot doesn’t quite compare to the traditional venues, the setting didn’t stop Seniors from having fun. 

I had a really great time with my friends.  Definitely the best event I went to during my time in High School. It felt great to be able to forget about all that’s happened and just be a kid again” exclaimed Senior, Jaylon Howard. 


This night goes down in history. Truly, this experience is one Seniors will never forget. With all the devastations this past year, it is important for the class of 2021 to have something special to hold on to. They got dressed up to get down one last time before heading out on a new journey.