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Pride Alliance to hold Second Chance Prom

File Photo

Students dance during the ASUA Pride Alliance’s steampunk-themed Second Chance Prom in the Student Union Memorial Center Ballroom in April 2014. This year’s Second Chance Prom is themed “Masqueerade.”

Oh, prom. 

That special night that marks the end of one’s high school career, the night portrayed by countless romantic comedies and teen movies as the most magical night of a student’s young life. You get to wear the perfect outfit, go with your sweetheart or a group of best friends and dance the night away. Except for some people it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. Everyone deserves a second chance, though.

LGBT students and allies get that second chance to have the prom they always wanted this Saturday, April 22, at Second Chance Prom. Hosted by the ASUA Pride Alliance here on campus, Second Chance Prom is an annual event and one of the biggest the organization hosts each year for the UA LGBT community. 

“It’s an opportunity for students to experience a prom with the dates that they want, to dress however they want and to basically have the prom experience that maybe wasn’t possible to have in their high school,” said Jacob Winkelman, a senior majoring in political science and English and one of the co-directors of Pride Alliance.

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This year’s theme is Masqueerade and will be held in the MAC Gym at the UA Student Recreation Center from 7-11 p.m. 

Along with the typical dancing and socializing expected at any school dance, there will also be food, a photo booth and various drag performances throughout the night. Local drag queen Jenna May and king Vincent Von Dyke will be performing and joining in on the celebrations.

Winkelman said he and his team at Pride Alliance are expecting somewhere between 200 and 300 students in attendance but are prepared for more. Last year’s Second Chance Prom, which was “Great Gatsby”-themed, broke past attendance records with almost 400 partygoers.

Admission is free and Winkelman emphasized that all are welcome who are looking to have a good time and make new prom memories. When it comes down to it, the event is for all students who didn’t have the prom night they deserved.

“Prom is treated like such a huge, important part of your life that you have to remember forever,” said Catherine Hilbert, a junior majoring in film and television. “Second Chance Prom is an opportunity to make a new memory where there might be a not-so-good one.”

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Hilber attended her first Second Chance Prom last year, said she enjoyed it and the more relaxed, accepting atmosphere of the event. Not knowing what to expect, Hilbert said she assumed it would be similar to her high school prom.

“Right when I got there, it felt totally different,” Hilbert said. “There was so much less pressure for everyone. There were people in gowns and people in jeans, but every one fit in the same.”

Some of that relaxed atmosphere could come from the difference between high school and college; a school dance isn’t the biggest thing on a student’s mind when they have finals around the corner and are working on a bachelor’s degree. Of course, it’s also an anticipated event for the mere fact that it is a fun night spent with friends.

“There’s just not that many formal queer events, especially on college campuses,” Winkelman said. “And it’s just really fun. So many things around our community can be sad, but this event’s really all about having fun.”

You can dress how you want, dance with who you want and be who you are at Second Chance Prom; it’s essentially the school dance everyone wishes they had.

Follow Victoria Pereira on Twitter.

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