How have high school dances changed?

Teachers answer.


Juliette Fournier

YLHS ASB puts a huge amount of effort into creating the perfect theme and decorating the dance accordingly.

Juliette Fournier, Editor

As homecoming slowly approaches, YLHS students become increasingly excited to attend the first formal dance of the year. It’s the time of shopping for dresses, renting tuxes, buying corsages and boutonnieres, and finding dates. Some people may wonder, how much have dances changed since our teachers were in high school? I interviewed four YLHS teachers to find out what was different about their high school dances and experiences. Here were their responses.


Ms. Maes (Staff):

In high school, Ms. Maes recounts there were dances after every home football game. The themes for her school’s dances always correlated with the theme of the football game. Theme reveals were not done through a video, but instead through a school-wide parade complete with a decorated float trailer. Proposals were also less extravagant than they are now, much more “face to face.” Additionally, she remarks that her high school was much more inclusive of other high school students; she remembers being able “to go to a lot of dances at [her] friends’ schools and them being able to come to [hers].” In that sense, it made the schools closer. However, Ms. Maes points out that at her high school dances, there was never food nor a coat check provided, and that YLHS’s decorations are better than those at her school. When asked about any interesting experiences she had, Ms. Maes remembers one in particular. “Freshman year, a senior asked me to prom,” she describes, “and all the senior girls hated me. I went with him even though I didn’t know him but regretted it since I was in a group of all seniors who hated me.”


Mr. Cadra (staff):

When comparing high school dances then versus now, Mr. Cadra provided one key difference: the effort put behind planning the dances. At YLHS, dance venues are “much more unique;” as a high schooler, he remembers dances always being at “a local hotel ballroom,” so every dance looked the same. The time spent behind planning the themes and decorations was much different back then as well. Mr. Cadra admires the “incredible, well-thought-out themes” that ASB plans for its students. Meanwhile, at his high school, the themes usually correlated with the “titles of the most popular song” and had “very little decorations or thematic ambiance.”  He feels that YLHS student should feel “very fortunate to have such a talented group of students and staff that make the dances… incredible events.”


Mr. Buchan (Staff):

Mr. Buchan’s high school dances were more similar to those at YLHS, with a few differences. At his school, people typically went with a date though it was common that friends would ask other friends. Additionally to Sadies, prom, and Homecoming, his school organized a more laid-back dance every quarter, similar to MORP or Welcome Back Dance, where people would wear crazy costumes. When he was a junior, he helped to plan prom with one of his friends. They procrastinated but were able to get everything done. “I like that for both my school and our school, the students get to plan the dances” he explains, “since it was a great learning experience for me and helped me learn to meet deadlines.” Mr. Buchan encourages all students to “go to dances no matter what [to] have fun, be a little crazy, [create] fun memories, and [have] a good experience.”


Mrs. Farrell (Staff):

One of the biggest differences Mrs. Farrell identified in comparison to her high school dances was the decorations at the dances. YLHS dances are much more “high-tech and animated” than the dances she used to attend. The music was usually rock music which was what the majority of students would listen to. While homecoming and prom were similar to what students experience now, Sadies was different from the Sadies dance at YLHS in that it was a hoedown. In addition, students still did proposals when asking a date, but it was not nearly as extreme as some people do now. Mrs. Farrell describes that, in fact, it was “an oddity to be over-the-top” with proposals. Dances were definitely cheaper, but again, the decorations were not as elaborate. Though she prefers that going to dances back then seemed less stressful than now, Mrs. Farrell likes that YLHS offers extra activities to do besides just dance. Overall, she encourages all students to “go out, have fun, and stay involved while in high school.”