The Midnight Masquerade: 2023 Prom!

Alyvia Pierson, Staff Editor/Writer

Many awaited the most celebrated time of the year: Prom. Preparing months in advance, students made sure they looked their absolute best. In the following, students shared their 2023 Prom experience. 

Upon entering the River Center, your feet are numb from the long walk from the parking garage. You ignore the pain, walking confidently in your heels or dress shoes. As you open the door, a cool breeze greets you as you see your classmates take pictures in the lobby. Checking in, faculty and staff tell you how beautiful or handsome you look. Taking in the boost of confidence, you make your way into Prom.   

It’s time. You’re welcomed with booming hip-hop sounds blaring from each corner of the room. The room is wide with high ceilings, and purple lights highlight the dance floor. You see the DJ, on stage, in front of a black, silver, and purple backdrop, with masquerade masks projected onto the wall. Several tables are beautifully adorned with masks and jewels, following the masquerade color theme. You’re shocked and stunned, yet you force yourself to walk in to see an array of elaborate and classic gowns and tuxedos. Before sitting down, you see your friends and hug and tell each other how beautiful they look.  

It’s a special night, the biggest one of your high school career.   


All Hail the King and Queen! 

Kenny Collins (12) 

Receiving the most coveted title of the year, Kenny Collins (12) is crowned prom king!    

“I was in total shock, and I felt so loved by my friends and faculty at ZHS. It was even better being crowned with my best friend, Blessyn Davis (12)!” said Kenny.    

Running for Prom King required Kenny to look his absolute best! He spent March and April getting outfit inspiration from TikTok and Pinterest. Ultimately, Kenny bought four outfits before choosing the one. On Saturday morning, he added his touch to his flowery-adorned suit, which I found more than suitable for winning Prom King!  

Kenny attended Prom with one of his best friends, Kaitlyn Dorsey (12), and the two took beautiful pictures in downtown Baton Rouge before heading to the dance.   

“Prom was everything and more! I absolutely loved this night and I’m glad I had so much fun at my last Prom!” said Kenny.    

Kenny believed the 2022 prom was so legendary compared to last year that it couldn’t be matched. Although, after Saturday night, Kenny concluded that this year’s Prom was far better than last year’s; I couldn’t agree more!  

Nevertheless, both proms were some of the most incredible nights of his life.    

“Prom for me is a chance to celebrate my high school friendships and a time to shower everyone with adoration and love,” said Kenny.   



Blessyn Davis (12) 

Obtaining one of the most significant titles of the year, Blessyn Davis (12) is crowned prom queen!  

She had such an exciting time going with her friend, Andre Richard (12). If she could go again, she would; wouldn’t we all?  

“I love getting nails, hair, and makeup done. It’s not every day that I get to feel that special,” said Blessyn.   

Ensuring she exceeded last year’s prom look, Blessyn got her dress, shoes, and accessories from Dallas, Texas, and made a hand-made mask, a look that couldn’t be matched!  

On prom day, with her look put together, Blessyn had a professional photo shoot for her special day.   

“Prom is a day where everyone can feel special and beautiful!” said Blessyn.   

Adding to her beautiful blue gown, Blessyn received the celebrated prom queen title with a sash and the coveted crown.    




Alissa O’Dell (12)  

Deciding to go to Prom at the last minute, Alissa O’Dell (12) attends her last high school dance with friends.   

“I didn’t know if I wanted to go or not, though and a couple of days before, I decided I did want to go. I found a dress, did my hair and had a friend do my makeup,” said Alissa.    

Some of us are last minute; no shame in that.  

Though she had to quickly acquire an outfit, hairdresser, and makeup artist for Prom, Alissa’s favorite part was getting ready.   

“This year’s prom was really fun; I always enjoy getting ready and looking nice,” said Alissa.   

What girl doesn’t enjoy getting pampered on her special day?  

In Alissa’s opinion, last year’s Prom was unsatisfactory, claiming the DJ played poor music.   

“This year, they actually played music that everyone knew,” said Alissa. 

Though Prom doesn’t mean much to Alissa, she made the right decision to attend her last high school dance.    



Gabreyela Gonzalez (12)

Creating nostalgic memories amongst friends, Gabriela Gonzalez (12) has an exciting time at her final Prom.   

“This year’s Prom was fun compared to last year. I must thank Mrs. Ernest, Mrs. Crifasi, and my fellow prom committee members for helping put on a good Prom,” said Gabriela.   

Getting inspiration from Pinterest, Gabreyela chose an iridescent dress and built the rest of her look, following her luminous color scheme.   

Who wouldn’t want to light up their special night like dynamite?    

Dressing up is one of Gabreyela’s favorite parts of Prom, and if she could participate in the beautiful event again, she would.   

“Prom is very nostalgic in regards of high school memories,” said Gabriela.   

To her, Prom is a great way to spend time with friends and dance the night away.   

“It’s essentially a fashion show. You get to see everyone unleash their inner fashionista with great confidence,” said Gabriela.   

Additionally, Gabriela enjoyed spending time with friends and partaking in the photo booths, a Prom classic. 


Vederek Matthews (11)  

Attending Prom for the first time, Vederek Matthews (11) had a special and exciting time. He went with his girlfriend, Iyani Jack (12), and enjoyed spending time with his friends.   

“I had a great time at prom, and it was fun being around my friends and the environment was lit,” said Vederek.    

It’s safe to say everyone was showing off on the dance floor or taking snazzy pictures for Instagram.  

Having a pleasurable time at this year’s Prom, Vederek would happily attend next year’s Prom because he’ll be a senior and he wants to experience his final high school dance with his friends.    

Vederek’s favorite part was walking into the dance and seeing and greeting everyone.   

“Prom to me means a night where you can have fun with your friends,” said Vederek.   





Adriana Johnson (11)  

Adriana Johnson (11) had a memorable time at Prom, enjoying the positive and united atmosphere.    

“It was amazing; I loved to see everybody come together to have a great time,” said Adrianna.   

Having an unforgettable time at Prom, Adrianna would go again next year because she only gets these memories once.   

“Prom is a time where it’s the end of the year and you get a chance to celebrate your accomplishments and finish the year with a great experience,” said Adrianna.    

Her favorite part was seeing everyone dance and sing together; who doesn’t love to sing off-key with their friends?  

The united atmosphere overjoyed Adrianna; she couldn’t wait for this fantastic experience in her senior year.    



Ainslie McNabb (11) 

Joining tradition, Ainslie McNabb (11) attends her Prom with her date, Aaron Westbrook (11).   

“Overall, it was a great experience. Though, I think the dance lacked excitement, I thought it would have, so I enjoyed my pre-prom activities more,” said Ainslie.   

Sometimes we like to share our special night privately with friends.  

Next year, Ainslie would go to Prom out of tradition.   

“I feel as though it’s a rite of passage that everyone has to experience, even if it’s not the most fun thing ever,” said Ainslie.   

In her opinion, Prom is important.   

“It’s something that I’ve always heard about and seen in movies and TV shows growing up and it was exciting to experience that for myself,” said Ainslie.   

Ainslie’s most memorable part of Prom was taking pictures with her friends and eating out before the dance.   


Kyrin Hardnett (10) 

Rating the dance an 8/10, Kyrin Hardnett (10) had a thrilling prom experience.   

In preparation for Prom, Kyrin had several dance rehearsals in the shower and indulged in food with his friend, Terrolyn Woodridge (11).   

“I would go again next year, because I loved being able to dance and seeing all my friends dressed up,” said Kyrin.   

Loving the judgment-free atmosphere, Kyrin enjoyed dancing freely with his friends.   

“Prom to me means a night where we all get dressed up and come out of our shells to show a part of ourselves that are normally forced to hide,” said Kyrin.    

Kyrin enjoyed being himself with his friends and on the dance floor.  

Who doesn’t love to show off by busting their best move?  


Amber Bosley (10)  

Having an overall enjoyable time at her first Prom, Amber Bosley (10) attended the dance with Jayvion Matthews (11).   

In preparation for Prom, Amber scoured malls to find the perfect dress, shoes, and accessories and scheduled hair, makeup, and nail appointments.   

“I would go again next year because it was fun to dress up and being able to dress up and dance,” said Amber.   

Her favorite part was dancing with everyone, specifically the line dances.   

Even I was in there doing everything from the wobble to the cha-cha-slide!  

“To me, Prom is supposed to be a good time with friends and a time to enjoy the friendships you have made throughout the school year,” said Amber.   






Lyric Brown (10) 

Making lasting memories at her first Prom, Lyric Brown (10) had an exciting experience with her boyfriend.  

“It was very fun; I’d go again next year because I had a great experience this year,” said Lyric.   

Getting dolled up, Lyric had her sister do her makeup before wearing her beautiful midnight-black dress, perfectly matching the masquerade theme.   

“Prom to me is a very entertaining and enjoyable time; everyone creates great memories amongst each other,” said Lyric.    

Lyric’s favorite part was when the DJ announced Prom King and Queen.