TPHS Cheer hosted an “out of this world”- themed Winter Formal on Feb. 10 at the Air and Space Museum in Balboa Park.
Limousines and party buses pulled up to the curb at 8 p.m. on Saturday night and were greeted by Assistant Principal Michael Santos, as well as parent volunteers and teachers.
Students were then split into two lines: a line on the left for girls, and one on the right for boys.
At the front of the line, Principal Rob Coppo and police officers checked the contents of purses and bags, discarding items like gum, cough drops, hand sanitizer and perfume.
“I got there at 8:15, so I kind of expected the [line], but it was annoying, going through security,” Bella Russo (10) said. “They did [this] last year too, but not as intensely. [The police officer] almost threw away my lipstick, but she didn’t.”
According to Santos, this process keeps students safe, and is done at every dance.
Students then checked in with their ID cards and headed for the dance floor. Some students didn’t enter until 9 p.m., since the “no entry after 8:30” policy was not enforced.
“I feel like formal was better than last year,” Hannah Sun (10) said. “The venue this year was unique and there were a lot of different activities we could do.”
The event was planned two months in advance by the cheer team, according to cheerleader Sydney Paul (11).
“We got these shirts that we wore every Thursday to advertise for [formal],” Paul said. “They had the formal logo on them.”
The theme was based on the museum because “it was a really nice location,” according to Paul.
The venue, with tables and planet-themed decorations, had galaxy-colored lights, as well as model airplanes above everyone. In the middle, there was a glowing blue fountain that brought light to the dance floor, where attendees spent most of their time.
Next to the very small and packed dance floor was a wall filled with purple lights and a projection of a giant, white moon.
On the opposite side, there was also a simulator, which was made up of a chair that moved in coordination with a projection of a roller coaster on a screen.
“They had two rides,” Russo said. “There was one that was really scary, so I didn’t go on it, but I went on this one that was like a virtual reality, with driving. It was like driving on a course, with stick shift.”
According to Paul, the exhibits were “really awesome,” and the simulators were “really fun.” She thought that those rollercoasters “were one of the best parts of formal.”
Snacks, which were available at the Cosmic Candy booth, included popcorn, saltwater taffy, Pixy Stix and hard rock candy, according to Paul.
“There was popcorn and a bunch of candy, like unlimited candy, [as well as] water,” Paul said.
The DJ played a variety of music, and, according to Santos, the dance floor “seemed a bit crowded, but everyone seemed to enjoy it.”
Paul’s favorite songs were from “High School Musical,” though “there was also a lot of popular rap songs and dance songs that everyone plays and knows the lyrics to.”
Some of these songs included Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl,” Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow” and Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic.”
When not spending time on the dance floor and singing along to the lyrics, students also took photos in the photobooth, looked at the various decorational displays and “had a great time overall,” according to Sun.
The photobooth, which had a red and white airplane in the background, allowed students to edit, send and post photos on Instagram directly from the booth. The photos were sent to phone numbers that students entered on the touchscreen number pad, and could later be viewed through the app Simple Booth.
The event was funded solely on ticket sales, with 760 tickets sold, compared to 901 tickets sold last year.
The date for the next TPHS dance, Prom, which will be hosted by ASB, has yet to be announced.
A variety of refreshments were avaliable for attendees, such as different candies like Milky Ways and Starbursts (ABOVE).
Photos by Christy Lam