Prance towards a stance on the dance, it’s the last chance

Sam Sheridan

The first Friday of every school year, most Redwood students will pile into the courtyard for the Back to School Dance. There’s bumping baselines, overdressed freshmen, Redwood jerseys, and senior girls who are overconfident in their ability to keep tempo with a whistle. Three hundred and sixty-five days go by and the school rinses, washes and repeats. The dance is recreated to a T; nothing changed but perspective. It’s fun, but I’ve left early every year, always feeling like there could be more. The BTSD grows tiresome; the vibes plateau.

Every October a less than optimal number of underclassmen and the homecoming court “royalty” pile into the gym for the Homecoming dance. There’s loud music, underdressed freshmen and fake gambling. Homecoming’s theme may change, but the dance remains the same. Homecoming should be the epitome of a stereotypical high school dance; the students should be spirited, enthusiastic, and ready to dance. However, it is usually the least anticipated of the dances and efforts need to be made to improve student turnout. At other schools, Homecoming is a big deal. Every fall, Instagram feeds are littered with Marin Catholic kids asking each other to turnabout with cheesy signs. While the signs may be bad, at least students actually turn out to turnabout.

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Prom is our only break from the monotony. The locations change, the theme is applicable—you can actually dress for it—and the food is good. It’s an exceptional event, and our other dances could learn from it. Dance locations should vary. This doesn’t mean that we should hold the BTSD at the MOMA, but why not try it in the gym one year? Or fence off the lawn and put the DJ on the amphitheater?

The dance themes also need to work. Last year the prom theme was “Great Gatsby,” a suitable theme for a formal event. Any boy, to the dismay of his date, could easily follow the theme by wearing a white tux. But how are you supposed to dress up for “Under the Lights”—a previous year’s theme— without a trip to the hardware store and an increased fire hazard? Themes like Luau, Toga or Hoedown could easily be implemented to not only increase attendance, but also improve vibes at dances like Homecoming.  

Dances need increased attendance to be fun. Without an enthusiastic student body, our dances will never reach their full potential. While all the BTSD may need is a fun change of scenery, Homecoming needs an advertising makeover to get the student body on board. Homecoming has become a catch 22 of sorts: everyone needs to go to Homecoming for it to be fun, but no one wants to go to Homecoming because they don’t think it’s going to be fun.

Reversing this trend starts with the senior class. If the the seniors go, the student body will follow. Should we make a Facebook page for Homecoming dresses? Well, probably not, but at least offer something new and exciting, whether it be themes, ideas, or tradition!

Thankfully, Leadership has begun to mix things up this year by making Homecoming a turnabout style dance — which means that girls are encouraged to ask guys. While we’ll have to wait to see the effectiveness of this switch, I’m optimistic for the future of Redwood dances.