Sitting it out: MVHS student who don’t join in on school festivities explain their perspective

Students discuss why they don’t go to school dances


Sarah Young, Graphics Editor

Students clad in fancy dresses and suits strut onto the dance floor, swaying to the loud drumming music. However, for sophomore Dyuthy Ramachandran, this night is a night to spend with her family.While Ramachandran enjoys school dances and wants to go to prom, her current friend group does not share this interest.

“I don’t like going to them alone. Because then it just feels very isolatory, and you see everyone dancing with their friends,” Ramachandran said. “And you’re like, where does this leave me? So I just choose not to go.”

Instead of going to dances Ramachandran typically goes out with her family for a meal at a restaurant or spends time watching TV shows or movies. The last time Ramachandran went to a dance she enjoyed dancing with her friends, but spending time with her family and those who care for her is just as fulfilling.

Graphic by Sarah Young

School dances give students an opportunity to socialize and dance to the beat of a booming rhythm, but some prefer to stay in the comforts of their home or spend time with friends. For junior Sean Chen, he believes dances are for more spirited people, and while they are convenient for social gathering, Chen would rather have friends over in the comfort of his home.

“There’s a lot of people and that’s kind of not the way I roll,” Chen said. “I’m kind of more of a mellow [and] chilled out person, and it doesn’t have to be a really lively environment to make things exciting for me.”

Another reason why Chen avoids dances is because of other obligations. Some of Chen’s responsibilities include after-school sports and school work, including studying for upcoming tests or completing long-term projects. Chen reasons that while some people may see dances as an important part of school, for him, they are an add-on to school life.

“Even if friends ask me a lot of times, I’ll say, ‘No, maybe let’s hang out, like outside of it, like, get dinner or something,’ but that’s just the way I prefer spending time with people,” Chen said.

Whereas Chen chooses not to go to dances at all, junior Autumn Boustead attends them depending on who she’s with or whether she is available. For Boustead, although dances are fun and a good way to socialize, it’s friends that make the event worthwhile. Attractions and fanfare are also a plus for Boustead, but if something more important is happening outside of school, she puts the dance aside.

“Bouncy houses are pretty fun [and] free food would be great, like more than just the cotton candy that you can just get once,” Boustead said. “Students are paying upwards of like $20 for a ticket to spend two to three hours in a room listening to blaring music there. The last dance I went to [was] homecoming [and] there was basically chicken nuggets and then the vending machines, which are always there.”

Graphic by Sarah Young

While these attractions and changes towards the dance itself may draw in more people, for Boustead and Chen, school dances aren’t essential, and Junior Prom and Senior Ball don’t carry more worth than Homecoming or other dances.

“For some of my friends, and probably other kids as well. It’s just not their type of social activity,” Boustead said. “I know people who would much rather stay at home watching Netflix or playing video games or something. And depending on the event that must that’s me to honestly, but, I suppose it definitely varies from person to person.”