DECA Sponsors New Dance Despite Negativity

Michael Zelinka, News Editor

February 7, 2015 will be the date of the third annual DECA sponsored “Winter Dance.” In the past two years DECA has put on mid-year dances with changing themes. The first year the mid-year dance was run in 2013, the theme was Mardi Gras. This was the most successful of the dances so far with an overwhelming amount of attendance.

The next year attendance faltered with the theme of Winter Wonderland, as junior Mike Bednarek remembers, “There was like 20 people there.”

John Wright attributes the lack of attendance to conflicts, as well as, a simple lack of interest, “The first year we had much more hype, because no one really knew what to expect—I guess they didn’t get what they expected [the following year]. Also I know last year there was a sweet sixteen around the same time so we lost attendance because of that.”

This year DECA is putting out a theme that has been in anticipation for quite a while: a Hawaiian-themed luau. These themes are decided by a DECA dance committee in the beginning of the year. Soon after the announcement of this year’s theme many students felt conflicted about it.

One common complaint was that a luau is primarily thought of as having grass skirts, flowered shirts, and coconut bras, however being a “semi-formal” occasion, it would not be appropriate to wear summer/floral wear. It would also not be convenient because of the weather during the time of the dance.

“It’s stupid it’s a luau. It’s completely irrelevant. No one wants to go to that. No offense,” Junior Rebecca Carberry bluntly stated.

Although a select few group of students are opposed to the theme, who do not like dances in any form, senior DECA treasurer Jordan Bergman thinks that people will enjoy the theme of a luau once they arrive at the dance because the presence of a luau during the winter could act as an outlet back into summer.

“There’s a lot of people in the winter that want summer. I mean have you seen the Instagram posts like, ‘omg I miss summer’ ?” Bergman said.

Others agree that having a dance themed for tropical settings while in the middle of winter is an odd choice. Most that feel this way are seniors, or juniors. They claim that the only reason they are going is because their friends are going.

Senior Rachel Waite stated her decision on going to the dance or not is, “in-between…last year it wasn’t very fun, but my friends go.”  Some students are excited and have high hopes for the dance, others are quite indifferent to the idea of dances as a whole.

“Dances are for chumps,” claims junior Brandy Tolan.

Senior Marissa Sozio even admitted that, “I didn’t even know there was a winter dance. When do they even do that?”

Waite acknowledged that the dance isn’t doing as well as hoped through the years, however she believes that the decline in interest is that “It’s not as popular as homecoming because it hasn’t been going on as long, but in a couple of year’s maybe it will be.”

Most negativity coming from the upperclassmen is because they are used to high school dances, and only get excited for big ones such as Prom or Homecoming. However, for incoming freshmen and rising sophomores, these dances act as social assimilation into high school life.

Freshman Justin Arnold looks forward to the winter dance and anticipates it being fun. Arnold’s reason for going is to, “get more high school experience.” Arnold is going into the dance with a positive attitude by having the goal to, “Enjoy high school and get all the opportunities I can [to be social]. That’s why I am involved in sports and clubs.”

A grade above him are the sophomores and this is an area where more “dance conflict” lies.

“The dance is so close to “Cotillion,” so that’s why a lot of sophomores aren’t going. Because then, who wants to go to a dance, buy a dress, then two weeks later buy another dress, and get ready all over again,” said sophomore Sophia Riviello. As Riviello continued she claimed that, “I would go if more of my friends were going,” which is what usually brings out the crowds at dances.

Riviello enjoyed the dance the previous year and shared that, “A lot of my friends didn’t. I don’t know why. I liked it because what else would I be doing that night?” This is true for a lot of students which is why Mrs. Carroll supports dance attendance by saying, “I feel like people should go because so many people always say, ‘I wish I would’ve gone,’ after they (didn’t go).”

Many students attending anticipate the Chick-Fil-A refreshments which are associated with high school dances. This year, however, students hope to also see “luau-themed” food. Arnold expects to see leis, grass skirts, pineapples, ham, and a roasting pig in accordance with the theme.

All school officers (including DECA members) will attend the winter dance.  DECA President John Wright says he likes, “to go to the dances and see people have fun. I also like to have fun myself; it’s better than doing nothing.”