If you had the chance to relive your prom, would you? I did, and at age 24, I never thought I’d attend my fifth.
Let’s just say the word "prom" doesn’t carry a lot of fun memories for me—rather, there’s the memory of my first prom date kissing my first love, or a second prom date finding a new boyfriend and dumping me the day of. Rough, right? Thankfully, things seemed to improve as I got older.
I thought a special celebration at Walt Disney World would take the cake for my most memorable prom experience, but alas, I know nothing. Last week, I found myself standing before Grammy-winning singer Daya as she performed a private concert for Journeys’ “Off to Prom” attendees right here in Houston.
After a national cyber battle to win the exclusive prom, hosted by Journeys and Converse, Houston came out on top–no surprise, at least to us. Houston high-schoolers voted, won, and designed the custom event, which included food from Pink’s Pizza, DoughCone, and Smoosh Cookies; live painting by graffiti artist GONZO247; performances by Daya and local dancers from Soundbox Dance Studios; and a VIP meet-and-greet with hosts, social media stars Baby Ariel and Daniel Skye.
A few hundred high-schoolers rocked their favorite Chucks down the red carpet before entering Silver Street Studios, the Washington Ave. Arts District venue tricked out with infinite photo ops. The first 40 guests wearing Converse earned free VIP passes, allowing them closer access to the stage, a private “bar” (of lemonade), a personal photo booth, and front-row standing room for Daya’s performance.
“Thank you Journeys and Converse for having me here, and thank you guys for finding a way to get here,” the singer said. “I wear Converse every single day, so this isn’t weird to me at all. You all look gorgeous.”
Daya performed her hits like “Hide Away,” “Sit Still, Look Pretty,” and “Words” before belting out Miley Cyrus’s “Party in the USA,” a “mandatory” prom song, according to the artist. Daya shared her own high school memory when her very first single was played at her own–just a few years before this one.
“Dassa woman,” a fan called.
At prom, Journeys and Converse announced their donation to the Boys and Girls Club of Houston. “Houston has played such an important role in the history of our company over the past 30 years and is home to several of our early Journeys stores,” said Kari Irons, Journeys senior vice president of marketing. “We are so grateful to be able to bring Off to Prom here, where we celebrated art, dance, music, individuality, friendship and fun with the amazing and inspiring teens of Houston.”
After a night of slow dancing (still leaving room for Jesus), holding hands, binge-drinking flavored water, and calling the bartender “zaddy,” teens with matching heart Sharpie tattoos turned down for what with a final performance of “Say It,” the new single from hosts Baby Ariel and Daniel Skye. I guess you’re never too old to feel young, wild, and free.