On Friday, Sept. 14, from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., the freshman and sophomore classes joined together in the school cafeteria for a tropical themed dance in celebration of the beginning of the school year. In past years, the dance was only for the freshman class as a chance to bond with each other, but this year the sophomore class was invited.
There was still an event right before the dance for just the freshmen where they were served pizza, and games were set up on the lawn for them to play. “We wanted to at least give them some event where it was just their class to hang,” Form 3 Dean and history teacher David Baker said.
Form 4 Dean and science teacher Kata Baker said that the original idea of inviting sophomores to the dance this year came from sophomore vice president Sloan Duvall after reflecting back on her freshman dance. She said Sloan and the class felt that going from a dance with only their form to homecoming where the entire Upper School attends was a shock. Other sophomores agreed that with more students in the cafeteria the dance was more fun. “I think it was good sophomores were invited because there were more people,” sophomore Kyle Frankel said.
Mr. Baker said that the prefects really organized the dance in terms of theme and decoration, and he and Mrs. Baker coordinated more of the logistics like booking the space and DJ. Senior prefect Claudia Petrie said they all worked well together and were able to make decisions very quickly. “We just made a Google doc and wrote down everything we wanted to get, and then a couple of us went out to party stores and picked up the things we wanted,” she said. Senior prefect Aidan Shea said that their main goal was to make sure the freshman class would have a memorable time. “We put a lot of time and effort into planning this dance to make this the best dance ever for the freshmen,” he said.
Sophomore president Emma Henry said she thought the prefects accomplished their goal and contributed to the overall success of the night. “A lot of people came and had a good time, and I think the prefects played a really huge role in making it so fun,” she said. There was mixed feedback about the DJ. “The DJ took really good requests. However, he played a lot of throwbacks towards the end of the dance which kind of ruined the mood,” Emma said.
With both classes in the cafeteria, many students said that the room was very hot. “As the night went on, some of the kids wanted to go outside because it was so hot, so we let them go outside as long as we could see them,” English teacher and chaperone, Ron Monroe, said.
When asked if the dance will stay combined in the future Mr. Baker said that because he has heard so much positive feedback about the night, it is possible. “I would guess just because the vibe went well but honestly I’ll have to get more feedback from people,” he said. Mrs. Baker agreed and said that she would like to actually send out a survey to the class about the dance and how the year is going in general. Mr. Baker said that anything that benefits and helps the freshmen integrate into the community such as having this dance with both of the grades is a positive. “Especially if it means the freshmen are feeling more comfortable on campus and more connected, so if its good for them as a whole then I think that’s a success,” he said.
Mr. Monroe chaperoned the second half of the dance, but he explained the duties of being a chaperone on both shifts. He said that on the first shift teachers breathalyze kids when they first arrive and generally make sure everything is set up in terms of the DJ and the water. He said that the second shift is more about walking around and checking all the areas around the dance such as the library and making sure everyone is safe and okay.