Bringing back Winter Formal

Class of 2020’s perspective on preparations for the winter dance

Claire Wen

Scrolling through Instagram the days leading up to Jan. 18, MVHS students could see a bombardment of posts about MVHS’s Winter Formal from leadership students’ and MVHS class accounts. Promotion for the upcoming dance filled people’s feeds, along with posts from the Instagram photo challenge leading up to the dance, where participants posted themed pictures on certain days for the chance to win prizes.


Junior and Class of 2020 Officer Dan Sachs explains that leadership worked hard to promote this particular dance so people wouldn’t have the excuse of not knowing about it.


“We wanted people to really know that it was happening and have the option to go,” Sachs said. “We were trying to get it out there.”


View this post on Instagram


JANUARY 18th is coming up!!!!! start finding your outfits to look RED CARPET READY!!!

A post shared by Monta Vista High School (@montavistaofficial) on


In prior years, there had been a Winter Formal that didn’t spark much attendance. After losing money six years in a row, MVHS decided against having another one two years ago.


For the Class of 2020, this meant they never got to attend a winter dance. Junior and class officer Surya Ramesh explains that his freshman year, due to the declining profits at dances, they tried a different kind of dance, the Black White Rodeo.


“[It was] very weird, but it was fun,” Ramesh said. “I think people enjoyed it. Just not a lot of people came. So last year we decided not to have a dance at all. So this year, we were like, ‘We want to bring it back.’ You know, hopefully, a lot of people will have fun.”


With this being MVHS’s first attempt to bring back the dance, Sachs believes it was a success.


“We had a lot more people than I expected,” Sachs said. “And I was really happy with that. The decorations were some of the best decorations I’ve seen for a MVHS dance. We had everything in the theme, where we had the red carpet and the VIP stuff, the superlatives for teachers and the bouncy house. I think it was awesome.”


Junior Annabelle Wu, who attended the dance, says it was somewhat similar to Homecoming. Despite feeling that there was nothing particularly unique about this dance, she enjoyed it.


She decided to attend because it was the first time that she had the opportunity to go to a winter dance in her three years at MVHS. In addition, the social media promotion influenced her decision.


“[Social media] definitely did [influence me to attend],” Wu said. “[It] gave me a chance to win free stuff, right? Who doesn’t love free stuff?”


Wu participated in the Instagram photo challenge, where people posted pictures based on the themes of best celebrity squad, best red carpet look and best asking in the days leading up to the dance with the hashtag #mvwinterdance, for the chance to win food or tickets.


“I thought I might not win, but I actually did win [a ticket for free cotton candy],” Wu said. “Because I only posted one photo. I was like, ‘oh, it’s okay.’ It’s just for fun and to show that I want to go.”


Sachs was pleased with how the dance went this year and has hopes of holding more winter dances in future years.


“I think next year, as leadership, we should we should try to continue with this new tradition of having a big winter dance,” Sachs said. “That’s not necessarily formal but can give students another opportunity, especially the underclassmen who only have dances for a semester.”