Prom ‘Under the City Lights’ in Cleveland earns rave reviews from seniors

Kristen Morgan, Airyman Singh crowned queen & king


Polly Dierkens

Senior Jake Miller crowd surfs as classmates hold him up on the dance floor at Windows on the River.

Prom this year at Windows on the Windows on the River in Cleveland was such a success that adviser Christine Srp has already booked it again for Friday, May 5, 2023. 

“I believe changing the venue really helped to put prom a night to remember,” said Srp, who explained she already paid the deposit on the place for next year to secure it. 

Senior Riddhi Patel noted how well Windows on the River correlated with the prom theme.

“I thought the venue for prom was really pretty,” Patel said. “It really gave ‘Under the City Lights’ vibe from the windows and everything.”

“It was really nice to see the skyline and the sunset,” said senior Ali Madden. “t was really pretty overall.” Senior Aspen Hanzak explained how much she enjoyed the dance floor compared to last year’s prom, which was held on the GoodTime III ship in Cleveland. (Though last year was also a “senior prom,” she attended with her boyfriend, Tyler Bodovetz.)

“The dance floor was so much better because everyone can get on there at once,” she said. “Last year, we literally had to take turns.” Aside from the prom venue, the DJ and the food also play a big role in the overall experience. Some seniors said they felt this year’s music and food were better than those of past years’ dances.

Senior Corey Teuton and his date, junior Kristina Koyan, enjoy a dance at prom. (Polly Dierkens)

Senior Keisean Johnson-Wilson disagreed, describing this year’s music as “dookie water.” 

The DJ did not play requested songs, explained senior Jada Paul, adding that he also played songs in their entirety and should not have done so.

On the other hand, the seniors praised the food.

The appetizers were fruit and salad and the entrees were pasta, marinated chicken breasts, prime rib and potatoes.

“The food was good,” Paul said, “could have been a little better but it wasn’t terrible.”  

Senior Maysun Klimak agreed that the food this year was better than last year and said how much he enjoyed it.

“I loved the food, the prime rib that we had. I got two slices,” Klimak said. “The chicken was great, the food was great – all of it was really good.”

Crowning of the prom king and queen is always an exciting moment for those in attendance.

Senior Kristen Morgan, who was crowned prom queen, explained how she had many emotions going through her head once she won. She said she did not expect to win after her boyfriend (Keisean Johnson-Wilson)’s name was not called as king.

King Airyaman Singh said he was “surprised” and did not think much about winning before he was crowned.

Seniors Airyman Singh and Kristen Morgan capture a moment after being crowned prom king and queen. (Polly Dierkens)

The main disappointment students expressed about prom was the amount of time they had to prepare. They had to attend school at least the first half of the day Friday to be able to attend the dance that evening.

“I wish I had time to get ready and not have to worry about going to school in the morning,” Patel said. “It for sure made me late to my appointments.”

Srp explained that coming to school on prom day is a decision made by administrators and most venues only have Saturdays available for weddings. The schedule will be very similar for next year’s prom, which is also on a Friday.

Hanzak would have liked to see a change in the time after prom. “The only thing I’d have different about prom is after prom itself,” she said. “I wish that it didn’t start right after prom ended, because I felt that less people went, because they felt that they didn’t have the time to balance both.”

As for the total experience, seniors said they loved prom because of the good vibes, drama-free night, fun laughs and dances with friends.

Hanzak said how much she liked having a mainly “seniors only” prom because it made the night more sentimental. (SHS used to host a junior-senior prom, but this was pre-COVID, and also before the class sizes started to increase. Now, only junior class officers, their dates, and anyone attending along with a senior is able to attend.)

Despite a few minor issues, Ruffo and her classmates enjoyed their prom night. “We’ve had such a crazy year,” she said, “and to have something so traditional and fun, like how it’s supposed to be, it was really impactful and I was glad I was able to have it like that.”