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Senior Prom Celebrates 25th Anniversary with Dinner, Tap Dancing, and Tina Turner

The Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Senior Prom returned with an anniversary soiree curated for LGBTQ+ older adults, drawing hundreds to Friendship Auditorium on the last day of Pride Month. This year’s event took on special meaning, celebrating 25 years of a tradition for those unable to experience (or enjoy) their own high school proms.

“Senior Prom was created right at the beginning of our Senior Services program as a way of giving people the opportunity to re-do their prom,” says Director of Senior Services Kiera Pollock. “Most of our older adults didn’t get to go to prom with the person that they would have chosen—it wasn’t safe for them. So we have Senior Prom every year to give folks the opportunity to go with their chosen partners and give that experience to the community.”

A lesbian couple at the Senior Prom

The night’s live entertainment included musical performances by Senior Services staff members, a tap dance number led by students of the senior tap dancing class, and a DJ spinning hits from throughout the decades. One of the goals this year was to integrate Senior Services participants into the entertainment and planning. “Coming out of COVID, it was really special to give people the chance to contribute to the programming,” Pollock says.

A gender-neutral royal court was crowned later in the night and in effort to dismantle ageism, the titles were bestowed to the two oldest individuals in attendance (who haven’t been crowned before). As guests showered the court in roses like the finale stage during Sasha Velour’s iconic RuPaul’s Drag Race performance. But the evening’s highlight came after dinner, when guests took to the floor for a dance with the partner of their choice.

“I think for them, the number one goal is to dance and be together,” added Pollack. Senior Prom was made possible by the support of partners Tiffany & Co., Angel City FC, Charlotte’s Web, Sprinkles Cupcakes, and Blue Bottle Coffee.

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