It’s said that every journey begins with a single step; even so, it’s odd to think that one of the culminating events of the High School experience takes its name from a simple walk.

You might have already guessed that Prom is a shortened form of the word promenade, but did you ever wonder what a stroll has to do with the fancy dress, DJ’s & limos of today’s formal dance? The prom as we know it evolved from the debutante balls formerly thrown by upper-class families to introduce their daughters to society. At these highly formal events, the young women made a formal entrance – a promenade. The affairs were considered an introduction to early adulthood, so it’s not really all that surprising that the notion mutated into a formal dance that’s become part of the American experience.

The average prom-goer spends just over $1000 on that night. Yikes! Lots of cash, sure, but it is a night to remember, right? We’d like to help with that: we’re giving away a tuxedo rental from Men’s Wearhouse and 2 gift certificates for a hair updo & makeup application at The Sapphire Salon. Want to win? Just fill out the coupon in every issue of Paper Shop (p. 52 in this week’s issue) or email us at with your name, address, phone number & high school.