Class of 2023 is Caught in a New Orleans Whirlwind of Magic

Sophia Lopez, Features Editor

   Time seemed to move so quickly for the class of 2023. After checking Grad Bash off the list, everything revolved around the preparation of their upcoming and highly anticipated prom. 

6 months. 2 months. 2 weeks. 3 days. 4 hours. 1 hour. 

Once the day arrived, it felt almost unreal. 

   Facing the shore of Fort Lauderdale beach, the Westin hotel was open for PPCHS seniors and guests alike to indulge in a night of luxury on the set date of May 13th. 

   The Princess and the Frog, a familiar yet nostalgic movie played as a montage in the background, as attendees stood around sipping age-friendly drinks. The refined atmosphere didn’t fool anyone, it buzzed with the prospect of the night that lay ahead. 

   Senior Ahil Mahendra waited at the entrance for his friends to arrive, “It’s crazy to see everyone that I grew up with, these 4 years, dressed up so nicely in contrast to their everyday uniforms.” 

   Upon the ballroom gates opening, glimmering gowns and suits in every shade on the color wheel entered, only to find a glamorous banquet style display, basking in purple lights that lived up to A Night in New Orleans theme. 

   After a quick bite to eat, the music began. It didn’t take long for the dance floor to feel almost inescapable, with each song better than the last. 

   Then came a surprise. Two female performers, wearing glittering costumes and glowing wings— towering on stilts, made their way through the crowd to add on to the energy. For hours the music pulsated through the room, where even the ground shook from movement.  

   Senior couple Dominick Zarcadoolas and Helen Godoy stepped outside of the ballroom for a breath of fresh air. “I’m so excited to be here, it’s so hyped up, the ground is literally bouncing up and down because everybody is dancing like crazy.” Helen emphasized. 

   Sofas and chairs lined the halls, acting as sanctuaries for those who needed a breather from the madness of the dance floor. 

   Principal Bayer smiled as he saw all of the students dancing from his table. “It’s a great atmosphere, it’s a great time. I’m very proud of them, they all look awesome.” 

   The prom venue also had access to balconies, which quickly became a hotspot for pictures. Senior Theovani Halems leaned on the rail and looked out at the darkening sky. “I feel great, I was able to come with a very fine lady, who is actually not from the school. I’m so ready to have fun, it’s been a long time coming.” 

   As the night came to a close, Ms. Taylor saw her efforts come to life. “I think that it was a raging success! We captured the spirit of this class really really well, and we spent their hard-earned money appropriately. Overall, it was exactly how I envisioned it.” 

   To properly close off the night, the crowning of the court was nothing short of memorable.    Seniors Tyler Pujals and Abriana Marte were crowned Prom King and Queen, being caught by absolute surprise. 

   “We didn’t post at all, I guess we were nominated by our friends and got voted for prom,” Tyler said with a laugh. 

   “It was exciting and unexpected,” Abriana added. “We did not run, it just kinda happened. It was a nice surprise. 10/10.” 

   Royal Court Senior Leanna Brereton was ecstatic upon winning. “I feel amazing, and I appreciate everyone who voted for me. I’m super happy.” 

   Sweat shining on faces, eardrums pounding from the loudness of the speaker, and hearts singing from the excitement, the last songs of the night were unforgettable. 

   In those final moments, the class of 2023 became one body and one soul.