Was Formal Too Soon?

2 Years ago, the annual VUSD Formal Dance was held in January after Christmas Break; but this is the second time the ASB classes have come together to decide that it should be in December. Not only has this been hard since it was so close to the Harvest dance, but it also happened to fall on the same day of many different sports tournaments. 

ASB chose to have it on December 2nd, 2017 because people were complaining about the event taking place in January. They all wanted the dance to be more of a Christmas theme and get students pumped for the upcoming holiday break.

The students I interviewed each had their own personal opinions on whether it should take place in December or January. Overall, the dance was a success and well organized which made the night a true memory for all the students who attended.

Personally, I think it was a good idea to have it before break because it gives the students a few good memories to end the year and for the freshman attend their first dance in high school before the semester ends. The dance makes them finally feel like a part of the high school culture. I did not attend the Harvest or Formal dance, but from what I’ve heard it’s stressful yet worth it.

Addie Hobbs, ‘18, thinks it was better in January back when she attended it her freshman and sophomore year for several reasons. She said she liked the large gap between Harvest and Formal. She told me she thinks, “More kids would have gone and be excited after the long winter break because Christmas and New Years would be over. They would have something to look forward to after all that happens.” She feels that she still planned well for it and was able to schedule appointments weeks early to be prepared for the big day.

Addie’s cousin, Hayden Hobbs, ‘19, said “I think it is less of a time thing [and] more of a money thing because people don’t want to spend money for tickets, a tux and dinner… that’s why a lot of people I know didn’t go.” However, he still enjoyed his Formal and a fun night with friends.

Although Tea Konishi, ‘21, and her cousin Kelsey Konishi, ‘21, had different opinions about the dance, they both agreed that it happened to be on a busy day already. Both girls had a soccer tournament out of town so it made the day even more stressful and hectic. Tea said, “Upperclassmen would have more money after break then before since they have to buy people presents…they could have more money for dinner, dresses, and everything else. Plus people aren’t as busy in January then they are in December.” But Kelsey liked how it was before Christmas because it kicked off the Winter season.

Luke Jewett, ‘21, thinks it should have been in January  and said it “would have given people more time to save money up for Christmas and get things done. Also, it would be easier to find dates and for the girls to get the dress they wanted.”

Halle Patterson, ‘19, and her date, Drew Stogsdill,’18, both agreed that it was better in December versus back when it was in January. Patterson believes there was still enough time after Harvest to plan for it instead of waiting all break for it. They both liked the idea of having Christmas-themed Formal and enjoyed the holiday spirit. Patterson said, “In January, the dance would be basically catching the end of [the holiday spirit] and people would be kinda over it.”

Patterson and Stogsdill had no problem planning and communicating about dinner, tux/dress, tickets, and a group. She told me, “We had to go dress shopping really quick and just totally shift gears. You had to get your shoes, makeup and set up appointments the day after Harvest basically.”

Brooklyn Bailey, ‘19, liked the idea of having two dances a semester but also felt that it all moved very fast. She believed it was still manageable, but if it was over break, people would have had more time to get stuff organized and be prepared.

Maddy Tamayo, ‘20, agreed it was good in December because it would have been “cold and miserable” in January. She made sure her group was in order and that everyone had their stuff planned out in advance to avoid stress later on.

Students all throughout the district will have their own personal opinions but what seemed like a big debate was easily settled when the majority of students can say they enjoyed the idea, effort put into it, and overall experience.

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