Leadership unable to host spring dance for the fourth year in a row 

May 17, 2023 — by Anika Kapasi
Graphic by Isabelle Wang
 Leadership has struggled with ticket sales and gaining interest among the student population in order to hold a spring dance for the past several years.
Due to low Spring Fling ticket sales last school year, the Dance Commission proposed bringing back a Sadie Hawkins Dance in hopes of gaining student interest.

As Instagram stories surveying students about a potential Sadie Hawkins dance, where girls are expected to ask guys — as opposed to guys traditionally asking girls — began to appear on the freshman and sophomore class office accounts in late March, many underclassmen were hopeful at the prospect of having a spring dance to close out their school year. 

Because upperclassmen have prom in May, the semi-formal dance was mainly advertised to underclassmen on social media to gauge student interest before setting a date. The result: Underclassmen weren’t interested because of conflicts with AP testing and finals.

Senior dance commission head Jacquelyn Ryu said there were numerous factors that influenced leadership’s decision to cancel the dance this year. 

One of the main contributors was that the spring dance was not part of the ASB spring activities list that was finalized early in the semester, which made it more difficult for the commission to find a date that didn’t clash with the already scheduled spring events.

Administrators also questioned the traditional gender norms that the Sadie Hawkins dance implies. But aside from scheduling issues and concerns from the administration, the commissioners doubted there would be enough ticket sales due to declining school spirit to raise enough funds to host a spring dance. Ryu added that last year’s cancellation of the spring dance due to low ticket sales played a major role in their decision to cancel as leadership believed they would run into the same problem again this year.

A “Winnie the Pooh”- themed spring dance was supposed to follow the annual Spring Fling Spirit Week held in the last week of March 2022. However, because only 90 of the 160 tickets required for the dance to occur were sold, the dance commission was unable to gather sufficient funds to pay for the DJ, food and other supplies.

Low ticket sales have been a recurring issue for both the Spring Fling and Sadies Dance for several years — not just for the 2021-22 school year. In 2014, Sadies was canceled the day before the event was supposed to take place because fewer than 100 tickets were sold. In the two years following, the commission also struggled to gain interest among students for the dance, but managed to sell just enough tickets to hold the event.

In an effort to boost attendance, leadership made the decision to replace the Sadies dance in 2017 with the gender-neutral Spring Fling dance, thus eliminating the expectation that female students must ask male students in order to attend. The dance commission at the time hoped having a Spring Fling dance would become a yearly tradition as the Sadies dance once was.

Now, six years later, the dance commission reopened the idea of hosting a Sadies dance with the hope that it would garner more interest as well as provide students with extra motivation to ask their peers to the dance in hopes of receiving a free ticket. Although the proposal was ultimately shot down due to a lack of logistical feasibility, members of the dance commission are still hopeful that they will be able to host a spring dance in the next school year.

“I think it’s definitely possible for us to have a dance next year,” Ryu said. “But, [one of our main obstacles] is that our school spirit, in general, is [declining] and students aren’t as inclined to come to rallies or dances anymore, making it harder for us to hold [this event].”

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