Madison Mills

The anatomy of high school dances

April 10, 2018

The homecoming voyage to outer space and Vice time-portal back to the 1970s have contributed to the recent success at Oak Park High School dances this year.

The surge in attendance has, according to dance organizers, aided in creating a night that’s enjoyable for students and helpful toward funding other programs on campus.

Vice Principal Jason Meskis commented on the culture of OPHS’s dances.

“Part of being in high school is getting to go hang out with all your friends and do something different and be together,” Meskis said.

Senior Lauren Herrera said high school dances are not an event to attend alone.

“I’ve always enjoyed all the dances I’ve been to,” Herrera said. “If you have a solid group, you will have a great time.”

Meskis said he praised the efforts put into producing the 2017-18 homecoming.

“The gym was transformed, the entranceway was incredible,” Meskis said. “It felt like going to another world.”

Along with ASB’s preparation for the night of the dance, outside companies are hired to put on the night.

Sophomore and ASB Treasurer Johnny Neville said the SOS Entertainment company helps with the preparation for the dances.

“Mostly what we buy ourselves is decorations and food. This year at Vice we bought giant paper flowers hung on the walls and tassel curtains at the entrances, and we ordered a pretzel cart. However, our entertainment company handles the DJ, lighting, and other technical aspects,” Neville said. “We go over it with them, but they manage the purchasing of those things.”

Meskis said he thinks that more people are choosing to go to the dances.”

“We’re getting bigger crowds, and we’re getting a good mix of grades. It’s not just freshmen, or not just seniors, it’s all grades,” Meskis said.

According to ASB advisor Heidi Cissell, the profit made from the dances goes into the general fund when money is made.

“Money in the general fund goes to rallies and support of other programs on campus like Acadeca, Journalism the College and Career Center, etc.,” Cissell said.

ASB cabinet secretary and senior Kaitlin Wiltshire said that the dances have been receiving a lot of constructive feedback.

“Over the past years, we have learned what works and what the students like best. This has helped us decide on themes, ways to advertise, and much more,” Wiltshire said. “We sold more tickets [this year] than in previous years, and everyone in attendance seemed to have a good experience.”

Senior Brandon Meyer has never been to a high school dance.

“I got burnt out from going to every middle school dance for ASB,” Meyer said. “They were always pretty similar.”

Neville said that the music’s quality during dances, among other factors, determine whether or not the event was a success.

“I think that mainly, people pay attention to the music and dancing, but the way [dances are] decorated creates an atmosphere that contributes to the overall feeling,” Neville said. “When we get good food and have a fun theme, it makes people have a better time without even knowing.”

According to Neville, the students can’t always tell what’s new with the dances from year to year.

“The best thing we can do is making them fresh, positive and fun to try to get the most number of people to come and have fun,” Neville said.




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