I was happy to be a part of 2014's Anti-Prom, which was hosted in Astor Hall of the spectacular Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. Along with other teen librarians and NYPL staff, I volunteered at the event. Gretchen Kolderup, Young Adult Programming Manager, organized the event. It was great to meet staff members who work with teens. I had fun handing out summer reading buttons and bookmarks, displaying the story boards from students of the High School of Fashion Industries, and, best of all, handing out the ever-popular glow sticks to adorn the dancing teens. In order to gain admittance, teens registered in advance and brought their school IDs. This event was started in 2003, and it has been a terrific success ever since. I have been curious about Anti-Prom for years, and I was thrilled to finally attend.
Colored lighting and music made for an evening of fun and frolic in Astor Hall of the Schwarzman Building. There was some very energetic dancing; the teens were rocking it out! The teens danced in a circle, and teens took turns in the center of the ring. A congo line formed a couple of times during the dance. The best one included teens sporting glow sticks as earrings, belts, shoelaces, bracelets and necklaces towards the end of the event. Creative as always, our teens know how to have a good time. The floor turned into a gigantic rectangle during the Cha Cha Slide song, and everyone danced in unison.
There were a variety of refreshments available—sugar heaven!
Halfway through the event, students from the High School of Fashion Industries had a fashion show. They modeled their outfits by walking up and down the curved staircases in Astor Hall. Chic and funky punk rock outfits abounded. The students worked during the entire school year on their fabulous creations, and they were thrilled to show them off! A professional photographer recorded the experience.
Many of the dancing teens were dressed casually in T-shirts and jeans. One girl donned a gorilla costume, while another was clothed in more traditional prom attire -- a frilly white dress.
King & Queen
Towards the end of the ceremony, two of the best dressed teens in attendance were crowned Anti-Prom King and Queen.
The teens were very excited to have an alternative to a traditional prom available to them. They were very grateful and friendly, and they looked very happy. One teen announced, "NYPL rocks!" The teens like the library staff, and they had a great time. I saw teens that I know from my current branch and from a previous branch that I worked at. It was terrific to see them enjoying a very unique party at NYPL!