The decline in dances

SCHS students attend the 2024 Snowball Winter Formal. (Finn Thomas)

Taylor Van Dijk | Opinion Editor

May 7, 2024

During all of the planning of pictures, dinners, and dates surrounding school dances, the period before these events is defined by the undeniable buzz circulating in the air. With almost every student on campus seemingly involved with the festivities of SCHS dances, it is shocking that there was a considerable decline in ticket sales in 2024. The onset of the Winter Formal “Snowball” dance in February highlighted the stark decline in dance attendance, raising the question of why students have strayed away from attending school dances while maintaining the event’s rituals.

Junior Emily Ohman stated she “didn’t attend the dance because the price was really high, it was pretty out of the way, and the dance itself seemed similar to prom, which led me and my group not to attend.” While the justification for attending dinner, pictures, and an afterparty remain in place, many lose motivation to buy a ticket, drive to, and attend the dance, especially with most of their peers and friends electing not to attend. While ticket sales were bolstered by teenagers’ inherent fear of missing out, the flip side is now being realized as more and more decide not to go.  

Students have stated price and location as factors in choosing not to attend, but there is also an underlying issue of this mass “bandwagon” — especially amongst prominent groups of usual dance attendees — that intensifies this issue. While the price, location, and time conflicts might be valid reasons behind some students’ choice not to attend, the masses assume the same mentality as their own as more and more students choose not to go. Furthermore, when an event is no longer viewed as worthwhile in the public eye, it loses its appeal and relevance to those who would have otherwise chosen to go. These trends contribute to a self-perpetuating issue that is detrimental to the success of all school dances.

ONE OF the many food options available at the dance. (Finn Thomas)

As this trend has already been instituted at San Clemente High School, what can students and staff do to counteract it?

It is difficult to find a venue locally to host the capacity of an event like Winter Formal and also supervise it, but looking to make Winter Formal a more minor, more “intimate” event with less emphasis on sheer size and less out-of-the-way might attract more students towards going. Also, to distinguish the event from Prom and Homecoming, coordinators should consider making the dance more laid-back rather than with the same large dance floor, DJ, and lights combination. Although potentially unfeasible, if ASB could find a way to host the dance at a cool location like an aquarium, theme park, or museum, more people might be attracted to it from the location alone. If the formula for the dance location were switched up, it could encourage juniors and seniors to lead the charge in ticket sales, which would reverse the issue of ticket sales in this event.   

There are endless possibilities for what coordinators can do, but at the end of the day, the only reason that ASB can fund and justify putting on dances is through ticket sales and dance attendance.

Without students choosing to go, SCHS will eventually stop putting on the dances, taking away the opportunity for festivities of pictures, dinners, and after parties. Regardless of the reasoning and justifications, the students are the ones that make or break a dance. Reversing this trend and preserving the integrity of high school dances starts with you, so as Prom tickets continue to be sold, make sure you are first in line. 

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.