El Estoque

Care to Dance?

MVHS students should attend school dances

Stuti Upadhyay

Red, green and blue lights pulse off the walls. Crowds of students jump and thrash their arms in the air, yelling lyrics to the newest Post Malone song.

The air is sticky and stifling from bodies packed together like sardines. Girls walk around clutching their heels, while boys with wrinkly shirts and previously unworn dress shoes sulk in the corners and watch the commotion.

 

High school dances seem to be a hallmark of the high school experience. It feels like every depiction of traditional high school include these dances, whether it be Taylor Swift’s“You Belong with Me” music video or Cady Heron’s final amends in “Mean Girls.” But for some reason, many MVHS students don’t seem to understand the hype. In a survey of 281 students, 95 percent have skipped a school dance.

“They’re boring. My friends aren’t going. I have to study. The DJs are awful. It’s too expensive.” MVHS students have a million excuses not to attend school dances, whether it be Homecoming, the Welcome Back Dance or even Senior Ball.

Busy with our six APs, nine extracurriculars, two internships and firm conviction that we are way too cool to attend dances, we fail to realize that we should.

Many MVHS students decide that the better alternative to attending a dance is hanging out with friends outside of a school setting. What we don’t realize is that we can get boba with friends whenever we want. On the other hand, there are only four dances each year, and some, like Senior Ball, only occur only once in high school. If we’re going to hang out with friends anyway, we might as well go to the dance and have fun in a special , non-academic setting.

And as cliché as it may seem, attending a school dance is a great way to make memories. According to Science News, teenage brains are the most sensitive, which means high school memories will most likely be our clearest and most long lasting. Furthermore, high school marks the last few years we have with peers we’ve grown up with. For juniors or seniors especially, these dances will be one of the few times the majority of our class is at one place experiencing one event. We should take advantage of these opportunities.

What’s more, the dances are hosted by our own classmates in Leadership. According to 2020 class president Brett Park, leadership starts planning a month in advance and spends around 50 hours preparing for each dance. Park explains that it’s extremely rewarding when students attend the dance and Leadership is able to bring students who don’t usually interact together as a community. If nothing else, we should attend school dances to show appreciation for Leadership’s efforts.

It can be easy to write school dances off as boring. But we fail to realize that by prematurely dismissing dances, we deny ourselves the opportunity to have fun before we even step inside. If we gave these dances a fair shot and attended with an open mind — bringing our friends and dancing rather than standing in the corner looking disgusted — we could end up having a great time. If dancing isn’t appealing, there are plenty of other activities planned, whether it be the photo booth, arcade games, movies or food. Find your own way to enjoy the time.

And although dances can seem like a burden when coupled with the strenuous workload most MVHS students tackle, it’s important to relax once in a while. Dances can be time-consuming, but taking a break to enjoy ourselves will most likely be more beneficial than cramming for a test. Don’t think of dances as a waste of time because our personal well-being and happiness is anything but.

Ten years from now, when we look back at high school, we’re not going to wish we spent more time memorizing trig identities or watching Netflix. We’re not going to say the three hours we spent at Homecoming junior year kept us from Stanford. We’re going to remember nights like Prom. We’re going to wish we had more moments to cherish from our high school experience. So the next time you see posters for a dance around school or see Leadership’s promo on Facebook, take a chance and attend the school dance.

About the Writer
Stuti Upadhyay, opinion editor

Stuti Upadhyay is currently a junior and an opinion editor for El Estoque. Stuti enjoys playing soccer, hanging out with her friends and family, reading...