On November 12, 1955 two high school students, George and Lorraine, swayed to a crooning electric guitar playing “Earth Angel” in the Hill Valley High School gymnasium. George had just rescued Lorraine from the school bully in the parking lot. Lorraine was falling in love with George on the dance floor at the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance, their school’s formal ball. And Marty McFly (played by Michael J. Fox) was trying hard not to vanish from existence.
In that moment, surrounded by their classmates and all of the ornamentation of a high school formal, George and Lorraine’s future changed forever. That moment set them on a path to enjoy a happy marriage, raise three happy kids, and build successful careers. According to the script, George and Lorraine owed it all to that magical moment at the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance.
Such is the mythology that pervades stories of high school dances. To be deprived of the opportunity for this kind of magical event was not acceptable to Senior Class President, Symone Mimms. She had been feeling pressure to do something for the senior class. Mimms took it as a challenge that she could meet.
“Failure was not an option,” says Mimms. “We were’t going to let anything [not even COVID] stand in our way.”
After the Christmas break Mimms and her student government peers realized that their senior year at Berean Christian would soon be over. What could they do to make the last few months special? Mimms asked her classmates to weigh in. She reached out to them on the class Instagram page and received dozens of ideas.
Armed with input and help from her classmates, Mimms prepared a slide deck and made a pitch for a formal event in place of the traditional Junior/Senior Ball to Principal Harris. It worked. Mr. Harris was all for the idea as long as the students could plan an event that complied with the school’s COVID restrictions. The planning committee, comprised of Alea Tyquingco, Yolya Alazar, Sydney Sodergren, and Symone Mimms got to work putting together the 2021 Senior Daylight Ball – the first of its kind.
The Senior Daylight Ball was designed to deliver the anticipation and pageantry of a traditional JSB in a non-traditional COVID-friendly package. Many aspects of the event resembled dances of previous years. Students, parents, and school staff were still up until 11 p.m. on April 15 decorating the school for the ball the next day. They still crowned a king and queen. And the girls still adorned themselves in beautiful formal gowns.
Of course, many elements of the ball were unforgettably unique to 2021. First, it kicked off at high Noon in the school’s quad. Second, students wore masks unless they were eating. Third, most of the guys, in a coordinated effort, wore khakis and Hawaiian shirts rather than traditional tuxedos or suits.
“Everything about this year was non-traditional,” says Mimms. “We had to be OK with a lot of things not being like a traditional JSB.”
Finally, there was no dancing. Or at least the students thought there would be no dancing. School administrators surprised the students by allowing them to dance in the last 30 minutes of the ball.
Who knows what destinies were altered after the Senior Daylight Ball? Not likely anything on scale with a Hollywood blockbuster like Back to the Future, but that is not what these seniors were going for. Led by their class president, the seniors’ priorities were to honor God, make some more memories from their experience at BCHS, and infuse a small sense of normalcy into their senior year.