by Taylor C.
Spring is a relatively uneventful season for a lot of highschoolers, as far as school activities are concerned. While there’s graduation, senior night and prom for the upperclassmen, the freshman and sophomores don’t have any spring dances or events planned. At least, not until this year.
A new tradition has been initiated in DHS, and that is the Spring Fling, or the spring semi- formal dance for freshmen and sophomores.
The planning of the Spring Fling wasn’t a complicated or tedious process. There have been talks about a spring semi formal dance for a while, but it was only about a month before the dance (which took place on April 29th) that the planning process actually began. The freshman class officers (such as the class president, vice president, treasurer, and secretary) and advisor (Mrs. Bonneau) introduced the idea to the sophomore class and pushed to have a dance.
Originally, the underclassmen wanted to do a winter dance that they would call the Snow Ball, but due to high covid numbers and the mask mandate they felt that this would be unrealistic to organize.
When introducing this idea, the freshman class already had a date in mind and a name for the dance; the Spring Fling. They also had already booked the DJ, decided how to split the cost of the dance, and had organized ticket sales. When they told Ms. Levine, the sophomore class advisor, of this plan, she and the other sophomore officers quickly jumped on board.
After the main plans and ideas of the dance were established, the class advisors focused on advertising the dance through social media, email, and Schoology. Ms. Levine designed a canva for instagram to promote the dance and once ticket sales were organized, they were advertised through Gmail.
The advisors checked in with students about ticket sales, which were recorded on a spreadsheet. They also had to make sure that they had enough chaperones for the dance, and about ten teachers ended up volunteering and helping out, not to mention the number of parent volunteers who donated snacks (individually wrapped) for the event. Finally, on Friday the 29th, the volunteers, student officers, and advisors helped to decorate the cafeteria for the semiformal.
The actual dance itself took place from 7:30 to 9:30. The timing of it was moved slightly back to accommodate the students’ sports practices and games that afternoon. As far as decorations go, the DJ brought colored lights, and the volunteers set up a snack table on the other side of the cafeteria for snacks and drinks. The cafeteria was split into two parts; one for the DJ and space for dancing, and the other for tables, chairs, and snacks. At the entrance of the cafeteria, there was also a nicely decorated wall with a pink backdrop and a colorful border for students to take a picture in front of when they walked in.
Overall, the dance was planned very quickly. The idea was presented on April 5th, it was advertised on April 8th, and ticket sales (which occurred during lunch periods) began on the 12th. It took about four weeks for the dance to be organized, which portrays how dedicated and invested the class officers/advisors were in this event.
Besides the student officers and class advisors, the administration was also involved in the coordination of the Spring Fling to get the dance approved and set up. They also worked with the school resource officer to make sure there was police detail for traffic purposes. Parent volunteers were involved and they dropped off snacks and decorations. Lastly, teacher chaperones from all different classes (mainly history and English) supervised the dance and helped with decorations.
In an interview with Ms. Levine, the sophomore class advisor, she talked about the students’ feelings towards the dance. “It’s always difficult to start a new tradition that hasn’t happened before,” she said. While some students were a bit apprehensive towards the dance, they generally felt excited that this is a new event, and they could shape what it was going to be like. Overall, many freshmen and sophomores treated the dance a lot like the homecoming dance in the fall and were looking forward to attending it.
A student council survey from earlier this year showed that the majority of students wanted more school dances, so most students were looking forward to the Spring Fling. Despite the initial hesitance of the dance (since the students were unsure what it would be like), the underclassmen were excited to start something new and have a good time.
Ms. Levine additionally noted the difficulty of planning the dance. “I don’t think it was too difficult to plan,” she said. “The biggest thing was just the break of vacation.”
Ms. Levine and the other students/teachers involved in this dance had to advertise the dance and sell tickets both before and after April vacation. Overall, everyone was excited to make the dance happen and they all put their best efforts into it.
Michael O, the sophomore class president, also commented on the difficulties involved in planning the dance. “I’d say the one thing that is hardest about planning these things is just getting people to buy a ticket and say they’ll show up,” he said. When purchasing tickets, many students were unsure if they were definitely going to attend the dance because they wanted to make sure other people were also going. “I’m thankful for the first couple people who bought tickets who caused a successful and exciting chain reaction,” Michael added.
The Spring Fling provided students with a nice break from school and gave them an opportunity to enjoy themselves and socialize. First of all, as freshmen and sophomores, not many people have the opportunity to attend prom so this is a new formal dance for the underclassmen (besides homecoming).
“It’ll be a fantastic social event for our school and I hope it becomes a tradition for many years to come,” Michael said. The dance was also a great chance for the freshmen and sophomores to come together as a class, have a fun night, and celebrate the fact that the school year is almost over.
Social events were hard to plan last year due to the pandemic, which makes the Spring Fling particularly exciting.
“Dances are a good opportunity to socialize with people outside of your classes,” freshman Bridget C said.
Bridget said that she would enjoy having more dances in the future. “It was a really fun dance,” Bridget said. “But, the location could have been a little better and it was very last minute.” Compared to the homecoming dance, there was less notice beforehand for the event and the location differed; in the fall the dance took place on the turf, whereas the Spring Fling happened in the cafeteria, which was less spacious.
In general, students enjoy the dancing, photo opportunities, and socialization of dances. “I was hesitant to go to the dance at first and didn’t know what to expect,” Bridget said. “But I loved it afterwards and had a really good time.”
The Spring Fling was an exciting opportunity for the underclassmen to socialize, dance, and start a new tradition in the high school. Many freshman and sophomores hope that this spring semi formal dance will be planned again in years to come.