The Future of School Dances


Courtney Huitt

Payton Janish (12), Kalina Kazimierski (12), Mackenzie Warner (12), and Amanda Perez (12) pose for pictures before winter formal 2019!

Courtney Huitt, Photojournalist

This past Saturday (February 23), YLHS hosted the winter formal at the Marconi Automotive Museum. However, this dance held one of the lowest dance attendance records for YLHS. Less than 500 students purchased tickets for the dance. Recent trends show that high school formal dances have decreased in popularity over the years, begging the question what is the future for formal dances in high school?

The main issue is that today’s students seem less attached to formal dances. They are simply less interested in them. Spending the money and dressing up to socialize with their peers at the dance is just not as thrilling as it used to be for past students. Along with that, the struggle of finding a date has students opting not to attend the dance even despite the cost. “Unless I have a date, I probably will not attend formal school dances like homecoming or winter formal” comments senior Maranda Newson (12). This is a widely common view among high school students when it comes to attending dances. Although she adds that “there is nothing wrong with going to a dance with a group of friends” Newson still holds that she feels as though formal dances are mainly for couples and that the informal dances like the welcome back dance and morp are more fitting for her.

Cole Robinson (12) states that he did not attend winter formal because he also did not have a date; “I feel as though it is more common for girls to go to school dances stag and just in a group with their friends than for guys.”

As an attendee of last Saturday’s winter formal, Payton Janish (12) maintains a different view; “in my opinion, this year’s winter formal was the best dance that I have been to yet even though I did not go with a date. I believe that you can almost have more fun when you just go with a group of friends and let loose.”

Even so, the outlook of future school dances, such as the even less popular sadies dance, does not look very promising. While this may be a shock to some, it should be noted that YLHS is among the few schools that still holds as many dances as it does. With the decrease in attendance, it becomes a matter of if ASB will make or lose money on these dances that will enable them to hold more in the future. If students continue the trend of not attending dances, it will not be financially viable for YLHS to host several dances throughout the year.

Winter formal was designed at YLHS for underclassmen who cannot yet attend prom. But it is often overlooked when students fantasize about being a junior/senior and attending prom. Seniors used to also make up a large portion of those attending winter formal because it is their last chance to attend high school dances. But now, as senior Faith Webb (12) points out, “many seniors chose to skip winter formal so they can save up their money to go all out for prom.”

While prom still seems to remain as the most sought after dance, this year prom and the widely popular music festival Stagecoach are both being held on the same weekend. There is a chance that this may or may not affect the ticket sales for prom this year.

Overall, there is no denying that the popularity of school dances has declined over the years. The priorities and interests of students have shifted causing the future of school dances to be very uncertain.