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Hundreds of Wasatch High juniors dance in 100-year-old promenade tradition

Ashlee Ivie

Hundreds of Wasatch High School juniors performed the promenade in a glittering spectacle to set the prom stage.

Wise men say only fools rush in but there was plenty to love this year as students promenaded to Elvis Presley’s ballad, “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”

This 100-year-old prom-week tradition is a beloved part of the community and on Saturday, over half of the junior class learned the choreographed dance routine.

Dancers attended five early-morning rehearsals to prepare for this modern-day take on an old-school tradition. The 10 inclusive student groups featured opposite and same-gender couples.

After that first practice, Kaitlyn Morgan and her date Tyson Kennard had a few misgivings about their dance abilities and if their formalwear could perform.

“I don't think I will be able to do that dip," joked Tyson. "It just kind of depends on how my suit is feeling when we actually do it."

"And how big my dress is when we get out there," Kaitlyn added.

Angie's Promenade Memories
Angie's Promenade Memories

Promenade was extra-special for the Morgan family–Kaitlyn’s mom Angie danced the Promenade to the song “Unchained Melody'' 30 years ago. She said not much has changed. Each couple is still formally announced, they promenade and for the finale, each junior grabs their parent or guardian for a final dance.

“Tradition bonds us all together," said Angie. "It’s about families, community. I think that a tradition is something that lasts through the generations, right? And that's why tradition is important to me.”

Kaitlyn actually had two generations supporting her that night. Angie’s parents, Jay and Becky Price, were high school sweethearts who danced the promenade to Jim Croce’s “Time in a Bottle” exactly 50 years ago in the old Wasatch High School gym.

Kaitlyn with her parents

Grandma Becky said she remembers all of the ridiculous things about that night. “We had a group of us and there was a pond that had goldfish and one of the guys in our group dared somebody and he ate one of the goldfish.”

So how did the grandmother feel watching her granddaughter follow in her footsteps? “It makes you old!”

As for Tyson and Kaitlyn, they had mixed reviews about their big performance. Kaitlyn thought they did "pretty good." Tyson said early reviews from spectators were they did well but when asked his opinion? "That felt terrible!"

"I felt like we did really good," objected Kaitlyn, which caused Tyson to surrender with, "Oh, well. We did really good.”

He said he was definitely nervous but he was glad he did it. Mostly. “I’m glad it’s over.”

Over for now, until the next generation promenades at Wasatch High School.