By Selwyn Harris
It’s a classic American rite of passage.
Late spring. Tuxedos and corsages.
Limos, dinner and dancing.
The Pahrump Valley High Junior/Senior Prom is less than one month away and students as well as their parents are scrambling to prepare for the special evening on May 19.
On Wednesday, PVHS Prom Advisor Matthew Bennett said faculty members and students staged a fashion show at the campus to illustrate the do’s and don’ts about proper prom attire for this year’s dance.
“It’s basically just to show the kids what’s appropriate to wear and what’s not appropriate to wear. Because we are holding the event off campus, it’s kind of what we can expect in terms of behavior and how they conduct themselves. They need to wear things that still fit into the Nye County School District dress code seeing that it is a formal event. They should conduct themselves in an appropriate manner seeing as that we are utilizing someone else’s facility free of charge,” he said.
As in years past, the student council’s junior class organizes the PVHS prom.
Gage Lytle is the student council’s class secretary.
Lytle said the fashion show was good because it allows time for preparation and rehearsal.
He said some students have been known to make very questionable decisions in terms of what to wear on prom night.
“A lot of people try showing up in jeans sometimes or in dresses too short or don’t have the right kind of straps and stuff like that, so it’s hard to make sure that everyone knows exactly what they’re allowed to wear,” he said.
Lytle also noted that preparation for the prom has been months in the making.
“We started in mid-November. We have had a lot of ideas that have fallen through. It was stuff that we wanted to do but didn’t have the time to do it. But overall, we have had a pretty good outcome so far,” he said.
This year’s prom will be held at Mountain Falls.
The theme is entitled “Masquerade.”
Student Council Junior Class President Preston Hart made note of the fact that the PVHS track and field team’s regional competition event next month just might affect the number of students who plan to take part in this year’s prom night. “The kids that may qualify for the regionals haven’t actually even qualified yet, but the kids that do, we are giving them all their money back that they put into prom, but it’s just the tickets. The regionals are out of town, but we’re going to give them their money back if they do qualify. We sold about 150 tickets today and we still have a solid 400 tickets that we still have to sell,” he said.
Hart, who was still decked out in his attire following the fashion show, said that even though he has ample means, motive, and opportunity to find a date, he decided to volunteer his services at the prom this year.
“I’m actually going to work it. Because that’s how much I love my class,” he said.
Lytle’s response, however, left no doubt that he will definitely have a babe on his arm on the evening of May 19.
“Are you kidding? Of course I have a date. With this good looking face?” We’ll both be working it, but yes I have a date,” he said.
Bennett meanwhile, said students who plan to attend were able to get their tickets at a discounted rate on Wednesday.
“If they bought tickets today, they were $35, or two for $60. They will start going up $10 each week until the week of the event,” he said.
There are just a handful of shops in Pahrump where students can pick up a tuxedo or gown.
For the former, Bennett suggested Pahrump Party Supply on Frontage Road.
Employee Elisa Manning said the store has just about everything for young men and women who plan to attend the special event.
“We have everything from tuxedos to shoes. We have gently used gowns for the girls who cannot afford to get new ones. The prices are very reasonable and we have great specials for Pahrump Valley High School students,” she said.
Manning also noted that the store carries more than just your traditional tuxedo.
“We have Western; we have Formal, pretty much anything you can think of. We size the young men and we have in-house tuxedos with assorted vests and cumberbunds. If they want the best they should come in now,” she said.
PVHS senior Kaylie West said she knows of another local shop, which supplies prom attire at a reasonable price especially for young women.
“There’s a place right across from Threadz called Accents. The day that I went, they had a 50 percent off special. It’s really cheap and you can get your nails done and your hair done. There’s jewelry there so you can get everything there. I got my gown for $10. Actually the dresses are cheaper than the hair and the nails. It’s kind of expensive to do the hair and the nails. I’m actually going to do my own hair. I might get my nails done but who knows. I just got my prom date today,” she gushed.
As far as how proms have changed over the years, Bennett, who graduated in 2002, said one of the main differences is the cost.
“It’s gotten a little bit more expensive definitely and I think there’s a little less pressure on the kids to bring dates. It seems more kids nowadays are comfortable just going by themselves. They just go and have a good time,” he said.
Bennett provided one caveat for prom attendees who don’t follow the rules of conduct.
“Students would be asked to leave and the parents will be notified. We always have law enforcement at dances to ensure student safety. Students who break the rules at dances can be suspended from school and banned from future events,” Bennett cautioned.
The PVHS prom is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at Mountain Falls.