Bay Area Students Dance for Change


Small lights twinkling from above a dark room. Black table cloths with vases filled with sunflowers cover the tables. Good music, good friends, and good food. It’s prom night.

On Saturday night May 10th, ALSO Youth* held a prom for LGBTQIA** youth and their allies in ODA’s black box.  ALSO Youth is a non-profit that strives to end prejudices and bias due to one’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The prom’s purpose was to create a safe and non-judgmental environment for high school students who felt that they couldn’t be themselves at their own school prom.

The prom’s theme was a “night under the stars,” and it was beautiful. White lights were hung from the ceiling of the Black Box illuminating the dance floor. The DJ played an amazing set ranging from Macklemore to lil’ Jon, and everyone was dancing.

As dancers left the Black Box, they were greeted with the scent of pulled pork and hot mac and cheese, catered by restaurants PDQ and the Blue Rooster as well as fondant embellished cupcakes from Cupcakes A GO-GO.

Across from the food was a photo booth and a table stacked with props. Friends gathered in groups and had fun putting on the props and snapping pictures. Everyone was buzzing about what an amazingly fun night it was.

“Alternative prom allowed every attendee to truly be themselves in a judge free atmosphere. It was the best night of my life,” reflected Junior Amy Cutmore on her experience Saturday night.

“The Black Box has never looked so pretty and everyone there was friendly and approachable. It was great to see all different kids from all different schools all dancing together and just having fun,” said Sierra Dickerson.

Many felt the best part of the night was the last song when the DJ played “Wild Wild Love.” Everyone got into a huge dance circle each taking turnings dancing in the middle until the last chorus when everyone jumped in together.

On behalf of the students at ODA who attended the prom, thank you to ODA teachers Sean McDonald, Dr. Ellen Zitani, Ms. Debbie Frye, and Ms. Nicole Fafalios for bringing this amazing opportunity to the Out-of-Door community.


*Advocacy, Leadership, Support, Outreach

**Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, Ally