The dance floor pulsed with energy Saturday night as Farmingdale High School students and their dates bounced to the beat of techno music blasting through the speakers near the DJ stage. Just moment before, they were given white hats, glasses and gloves -- accessories that fit their junior prom’s black-and-white theme.
But it also held another purpose, known only by a handful in attendance at the Melville Marriott.
“Farmingdale, are you ready?” DJ Kenny Scheriff, of Above and Beyond Entertainment, screamed into the microphone as the lights went out. At that moment, the group of almost 450 were suddenly illuminated in black light, their white hats and brightly colored dresses glowing in the dark as they screamed in ecstatic surprise for the rave-like effect.
“I had no idea this was going to happen,” junior Beatrice Badilla said as her bright orange dress glowed like a neon light in the darkness. “We’re making lifelong memories here tonight.”
This is the first time Farmingdale High School has put together a prom surprise for the students, an effort coordinated for their junior prom by the student council and Above and Beyond Entertainment, a Bohemia-based DJ company.
“We provided entertainment for Farmingdale’s prom last year, and it went really well,” Dan Curcio, who served as emcee, said. “This is the first time we’ve ever pulled off a black light event for a group this big too -- it’s very exciting.”
The secret effort was so well-kept that not even Farmingdale High School principal Glen Zakian knew about it at first.
“They’re putting on a light show?” Zakian said when initially asked about the surprise. “Wow, I can’t wait to see it.
Farmingdale only holds prom for juniors, with seniors celebrating the end of their high school careers with a more casual class-only banquet, held the day before graduation.
“It’s a cool tradition,” Zakian said. “Having prom junior year puts less pressure on the students their senior year, and the banquet is much more casual, so they don’t have to worry about prom costs two years in a row.”
For Farmingdale junior Lisa Bianco, prom is one occasion where the whole grade really comes together to celebrate.
“When we walked through those doors today, there were no cliques, no separate groups of friends -- no matter who you are, where you came from, we were all as one,” Bianco said. “Honestly, just to have every single person here with you, genuinely happy . . . those memories are timeless.”