A night in Venice -- in Steamboat

Students get ready for prom

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Finding faculty chaperones for prom night is never a problem.

"It's like the Oscars. I want to see what they wear," said Steamboat Springs High School faculty prom organizer Meghan Hanson, who has chaperoned prom for the past three years.

Of course, student participation usually isn't a problem, either.

Last week, students were encouraged to wear red if they had a date, yellow if they didn't want a date and green if they wanted to be asked on a date. But according to junior Kristin Toy, "Half have dates, and the other half go with their friends."

"All of my friends are going alone," junior A.J. Johnson said.

Heidi Hillenbrand is going with a group of senior girls and guys, which isn't typical, she said. "Senior guys have been asking out lower-classmen girls because they're not smart," she said.

Younger students have to be invited by an upperclassmen to attend prom, and they are discouraged from going by the high ticket prices set by the organizing junior class.

Danny Tebbenkamp --ho Hanson said the students love -- will deejay prom.

Students such as Johnson look forward to the showing off new moves.




¤ Steamboat Springs High School junior and senior prom¤ 9 p.m. to midnight Saturday¤ Sheraton Steamboat Resort ballroom¤ Free for seniors, $20 for juniors, $60 for sophomores and $80 for freshmen

"I'm definitely not afraid of the dance floor," he said.

The theme of this year's prom is "A Night in Venice." Prom organizer Sydney Burkett said her most difficult task was raising money and deciding on decorations.

"We've got a gazebo set, and the shop class built little gondolas, a bridge and a couple of swings," Burkett said. The students also will put fabric on the floor of the Sheraton Steamboat Resort ballroom to give the appearance of water.

There will be valet parking. "Parents and chaperones will park their cars," faculty prom organizer Bill Spyker said.

The excitement about prom is more than just dressing up, dinner and dancing.

"I think more people show up to after-prom than prom," Johnson said.

This year's after-prom party has a "Casino Royal" and "007" theme --t's being put on by the junior class, which graduates in 2007. More than $10,000 was raised for the party, which is from midnight to 5 a.m. in the high school's commons area.

The free party, which is designed to provide students with fun, alcohol- and drug-free activities on prom night, will include a Texas hold 'em poker tournament, food, inflatable games and obstacle courses, James Bond movies, a dodgeball tournament and hypnotist Randy Cummins, who will hypnotize 25 students at about 3:30 a.m.

There is a $500 prize for the winner of the dodgeball tournament, and $2,000 will be given away in cash prizes. "They don't even need to be bribed (to attend) because they have so much fun," after-prom chairwoman Dana Tredway said.

Tredway said 480 students attended the party last year. "We hold them till 4:30, 5 a.m. and then send them home tired."

But the fun starts with getting ready to go to prom, Burkett said.

"Girls definitely take longer than guys to get ready because they have to do their hair and make up," she said.

"I'm already ready," John--son said, proving her point.

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