The Dance Dance Resolutions of Dances

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The Dance Dance Resolutions of Dances

Kaitlyn Majkoski, Staff Writer

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Julia Mazacutto (12) ponders hard about what is at stake; the decision she is about to make is crucial — the difference between making or breaking success. Taking a thoughtful second, she shoots her hand up when the theme she prefers is called. She looks around at her peers, approving their decision to agree with her, and the decision is final. The theme for the next dance is set. Though Julia holds the important, and at times stressful, job as ASB Dance Commissioner, she acknowledges that planning out dances is a hard a task, one that is impossible to do alone.


High school dances are a landmark moment in an American teen’s life, a rite of passage, an arm extended that yanks a scared and confused teen out of childhood and into adolescence. For many, a dance is a night in which they can forget about that large history test that could determine their grade or that stressful in-class essay that they know they will never prepare for. Those three hours merely dancing — stomping feet and grabbing onto friends tightly — are an experience, a euphoria that is unique to these years in high school. On those nights, everything seems so easy. However, the ASB class would beg to differ.


Months and months of preparation are put into planning dances as different variables have to be taken into account such as venues, school spirit, decorations, and theme. The assembly, spirit week, the promotional video, ticket sales, the list goes on and on.


When asked about the amount of effort that ASB puts into a dance, Connie Nguyen (12), a representative at large, closes her eyes and shakes her head at the mere thought of it, “So much effort. Everyone has to be head on and focused for the dance. It starts with a theme. For Homecoming, we had meetings of brainstorming themes at the end of last year during lunch, and we voted and came to an agreement. For casual dances, we talk about it in class, and then we either vote on it anonymously via Google Form, debate about it in class, or we vote online when we’re at home.”


She talks about the sheer amount of preparation that goes into a dance, especially Homecoming, which is always at the very beginning of the year. The newly elected ASB class must be assembled before the Spring so that as early as April or May they can begin planning.


These dances not only take up a large part of after school and lunches but a large part of their summer as there are designated work days dedicated to decorating the hallways, a tradition fulfilled every Homecoming, making and painting the posters for the assembly, shooting the thematic, promotional video, and so much more.


A large part of the effort for dances are devoted to advertising because of course, the most important part is that people actually attend the dance. This is where the theme plays a big role. If the theme is undesirable or bland, runs the risk of not having enough material to work with, “A theme has a lot of impact on a dance. The theme matters a lot because if students are interested in the theme, some of them are more likely to go to the dance to see what it’s like. For Homecoming, of course, because all of the hallway decorations, the lunch time activities, the videos, the dress up days and the assembly decorations are all based off of that theme. Even the hashtag for people asking their dates for free dance tickets is revolved around the theme.”


The theme is what make people excited for a dance, it’s what inspires that clever pun boyfriends think of to write on their proposal posters. Spirit week, especially, is foremost a child of the theme, as ASB students try to make sure that it runs through the veins of the school and are present in its bone marrow. The theme must be everywhere.


Spirit week can actually be done whenever ASB feels as if there is a need to augment school spirit. Most of the time, though, it is done in conjunction with a dance. Though there is a certain amount of red tape involved, as every single day must be approved by the administration, it is ultimately one of the most fun aspects of the time leading up to the dance. The ASB class is required to dress up to rouse excitement in other students, but Connie notes that it doesn’t feel like a chore, “When ASB students look more ridiculous and spirited, other students won’t feel so uncomfortable about dressing up. It’s usually to hype students up, but it’s also a way to bring the school a little bit more together.”


Above all, she notes, is that what makes a dance successful is that everybody in the ASB class is contributing their creative ideas and putting in their part whether it be with a an idea on the video, lunch activities, or class distinction.


Some students have specialized role to make planning more smooth and roles more distinct, “We always have certain people for certain jobs. We have a dance commissioner who organizes everything from dance budget to duties and jobs that people have to do for the dance. We have a publicities commissioner who is in charge of making the infographics for advertising. We have activities commissioners who organize the lunch time activities to hype up the dances, and we have the sound commissioners who play music for every lunch time activity. We also have an assemblies commissioner who organizes all of the assemblies that ASB does, and basically, she has a minute-by-minute schedule for every assembly.”


Julia Mazacutto, the ASB Dance commissioner, especially has a lot of responsibility as she not only organizes the dance budget but also allocates the duties that specific people are in charge of. Much like a queen bee, she manages the worker bees, with her main goal of generating a buzz.

Many times, though, that is what is the hardest part of coordinating a whole school for one night — simply getting people to go, “ Low school spirit can be an issue but ASB works its hardest  to remedy that,” she says, “A successful dance, to me at least, is one that as many Beckman students as possible are able to get excited and have a good and memorable experience.”


Indeed, these memories are important but not always free. Julia’s main job is to manage the budget, to make sure that the dance account funded by ASB decals sold at the beginning of the year does not go to waste. Though she cannot do everything, with Mr. Cooper handling the phone calls for the venues, Julia works hard to make every dance successful, an answer to this secret that has already unlocked, “The mere exposure effect in psychology dictates that the more you see something, the more likely you are to recognize it, so the amount of work the ASB class members put into getting people excited can make the difference of a well executed dance.”


Exposure. Planning. Creativity. These are all components that are crucial to an effective dance, whether it be the ultra formal prom, the very profitable Homecoming that is popular amongst the singles, or the casual dances that elicit a buzzing and electric energy. These are the component that draws in students hoping for an unforgettable night and allows them to leave starry-eyed and breathless.


At 10:15, when the dance has ended, the previously packed quad is empty, save for the ones who had executed this night in the first place. Dazedly picking up cups and folding up chairs, ASB students stay to clean up for the night, with an array of emotions sloshing around inside of them. The excitement of a dance of their own doing that whisked them away, the sadness that the moment was so fleeting, the relief that it had been a success. Weirdly enough, though they feel drained, they are not tired. They look up at the sky and understand that just as the stars, those moments, in the dance of their making, had been beautiful and bright and brilliant.

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