“I think it will take a while for dances to become normalized in the school community but it will add to the school culture,” says senior senator, Hannah Jane Wilson.
The Snowball Semi Formal Dance will close off Oyster River High School’s first semester of the school year, hosted Friday, January 19th, by all classes and Relay For Life.
“In the past, dances have been banned for various reasons, but they are a big part of the typical high school culture and a lot of people have asked student government to bring them back,” says Wilson. The idea to hold a school dance originated in one of the sophomore student government meetings. They had anticipated that administration would not pass the idea, however, principal Suzanne Filippone loved their proposal. “It was surprising but really exciting,” says vice president of the sophomore class, Grace Castonguay. The sophomore class then turned to the rest of the classes and Relay For Life for help preparing.
The school’s Relay For Life team felt like it was the perfect opportunity for a school fundraiser. “We’ve been trying to do a school fundraiser, so it was perfect timing,” says senior Jessica Leach, a member of Relay For Life.
Since many of the ‘18 student government members have experience from planning last year’s prom, they also volunteered to help out. All of the classes ended up joining the effort. “The committee has been working really hard to get nice decorations, and encourage people to come,” says Wilson. The committee has had one or two meetings a week and there is been a lot of work outside of that to promote the dance and make sure they it has a good turnout. “I had to spend two weeks selling tickets during lunch, but I think if we hadn’t put in the effort, the whole plan would have failed,” says sophomore senator, Jackson Deely.
The decorations committee hopes to create a ‘winter wonderland’ but it has been difficult with the limited budget. They have had to create most of the decorations by hand. “This year is just the start, but hopefully in coming years we’ll have a bigger budget,” says Castonguay.
Despite some negative feedback, “ticket sales have proved to show that this is something a lot of people want,” says Deely. The committee started out with 50 tickets, but they sold out last week so they made more to sell during the break period between exams. Tickets cost $10 when purchased in advance, and will be sold for $12 at the door.
By popular demand, junior Max Wagner, known on the music app called SoundCloud as “Lufty,” will be performing halfway through the dance. “I decided to perform at the snowball because I support our class and it’s a good experience,” says Wagner. He will be performing his songs “Gorgeous,” “Drugs / If Yours Is Red,” and two new pieces: “Lufty in Space,” and “Heavenly.” He hopes that people come to dance and have a good time. He says, “those attending should look forward to the music that I and the rest of those organizing the event have to offer!”
In the future, Deely hopes that the attitude toward dances changes. He says, “dances are part of the whole high school experience and while ORHS has prom, that’s only available for upperclassmen and it’s only once a year. Dances are really fun so why not make them happen!”