Ideas for decorating a swing dance prom : LUSENET : Art Deco Society of Washington : One Thread

From the ADSW mailbox: My daughter's high school wants to do a swing dance for their prom this year. I need ideas, or resources to find what and how to decorate for it. It will be in a large enclosed pavillion. Can you please help?

-- Joel Shprentz (, April 10, 1999


Your daughter's prom sounds like lots of fun!

For ideas and resources, start at this web page: http://reenactment.mi

Then look at old movies, magazines, yearbooks, etc. This web page lists lots of movies with swing dancing: /movies.html. Some more recent movies recreate the swing era's style. For example, the movie 1941 has a great USO dance scene.

You can also look at our web site for photos of Art Deco Balls. Our web page shows some of the decorations we created for our 1990 Art Deco Ball.

Your daughter's high school theater, art, and shop departments can make any Deco style decorations you may need. Remember, it only has to survive one night. We use foam core board and painted backdrops extensively.

Over the years we have found that the key elements are a backdrop behind the band, themed table centerpieces, and a grand entrance. We use lighting to focus attention on what we have decorated. We often have a photo opportunity, a decoration where couples can pose for photos.

Vintage clothing also helps set the mood. (And it is much cheaper than new prom dresses.)

Please let us know how the prom turns out. We would love to see photos.

-- Joel Shprentz (, April 10, 1999.

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