The Demise Of School Dances

Chloe Pszenny, Journalist

3 Homecoming 2021

As a senior who loves a good time, school dances just have not been making the cut. School dances are something that high school students look forward to because it’s one of few events that bring all or most of the students out. Maggie McCormick, the senior class vice president, says, “I think school dances are a great way to bring everyone together in a non-academic way.” One could argue that they would rather spend as little time with their grade as possible, but from a senior prospective high school goes by in a blink of an eye. Four years may seem like a long time, but when you think about it, that’s only four homecoming dances.

Leaving early plays one of the biggest parts in the atmosphere of the dance. A lot of times, especially at Homecoming most of the upperclassmen leave the dance hours early which leaves only the underclassmen left for the majority of the time. “I think [students] decide to leave early because [dances like] homecoming provides an excuse for kids to get together after leaving the dance,” says Maggie McCormick. Music has a role in the success of the dance as well. The junior class vice president Estelle Gromko shared the same thoughts. “Music has an effect on the fun of the dance. The DJ needs to project songs that people request.” Though some DJs use their own set list which might not be as successful with a room full of high schoolers. 

When I asked both vice presidents what they thought would keep people longer, Maggie McCormick said, “I think having a good DJ is key.” I also think that Maggie McCormick made a really interesting point that, “having fewer dances increases participation in the ones we have.” Originally I thought more dances would increase participation, but Maggie McCormick does bring up a good point that with one or two dances there’s more excitement in getting ready. Which leads me to what Estelle Gromko mentioned, and how she “likes getting ready and spending time with [her] friends.” I think that most girls attending look forward to getting ready before rather than the actual dance itself. When Maggie McCormick asked people the same question she said, “The majority of people I have asked this to have responded that they find the most fun part of the dance is to have an excuse to dress up with their friends.” 

As all these ideas were being thrown around from both vice presidents, I was thinking of an alternative to not only making more students attend, but especially the upperclassmen. I suggested to both vice presidents to bring back Cotillion, for juniors and seniors, and keep homecoming for the freshman and sophomores. Estelle Gromko said that, “Homecoming should be a whole school event,” and she suggested that Cotillion should be brought back, “to be a junior/senior event and the sophomores/freshman should host a semi-formal event.” As for Maggie McCormick, she suggested, “bringing back [cotillion] would be something new and exciting for juniors/seniors and would definitely increase attendance for the upperclassmen more than a whole school dance would.” This surely gives some incentive in the future that maybe Estelle Gromko could use for the senior class next year.  

Even with all these ideas we still are facing the demise of school dances. What makes it so frustrating is that dances, especially homecoming, are one of the biggest money makers for the Senior class. As Maggie McCormick being senior vice president she also believes that, “Homecoming should be all four classes because it brings in the most money.” She says it also encourages all the students to pay their dues because you cannot buy a Homecoming ticket without them. 

Overall, are school dances worth it? “School dances are worth it,” says Estelle Gromko. “From a fundraising standpoint, it is a great way to make some extra money for your class,” says Maggie McCormick. Though the overarching theme is that more students are more likely to not want to stay past 8 pm, but I am not sure if anything will ever change that?