Roaring ‘20s theme brings fancier aesthetic to formal

November 22, 2019 — by Apurva Chakravarthy and Allison Hartley

Dance commission introduces new DJ, food caterer and decorator for this year’s formal, hoping to cut costs and move to an off-campus venue next year


At 8 p.m. on Dec. 7, hundreds of formally dressed students will walk into the gym transformed to resemble the Roaring ‘20s.

The dance commission chose the theme for its gold and black aesthetic and to acknowledge the kick of the new decade with the party-era feel of the ‘20s.

This year, the commission wanted to explore the fancier themes that are usually reserved for proms instead of the typical winter-related themes.

“I think it’s super cute,” senior Vivian Lin said. “I remember that it was the theme for my sister’s junior prom a couple years ago, but this is a really great theme to reuse since the ‘20s was such a fun and Gatsby-like decade.”

The commission has also implemented changes based on feedback about decorating, music and food they received from last year’s formal, which was held in the Large Gym for the first time in several years for financial reasons.

This year, Stuart Event Rentals will be decorating the gym. Head dance commissioner Lillian Wang said that they wanted to work with a designated decorator rather than an event planner in order “to go directly to the source and rent straight from them instead of going through another party of people.” This decision helped make to make the dance more cost effective.

Another change: Due to mixed feedback on DJ Delicious from recent dances, the dance commission will be introducing a new DJ, Adam Barrera, to formal. The commission found Barrera because both DJs come from the same organization, the Rhythm Masters.


As for food, last year’s catering included tacos, which many students complained were too messy. This year, the commission is hiring Entrees Unlimited, which will provide a wide variety of cuisines, including Chinese and Italian food. The company, which has catered for district meetings with positive results in the past, also offered the commission a discount, helping to reduce the costs of the formal.

Tickets were initially sold for $40 to seniors with ASB and $50 for seniors without ASB on Nov. 12. The following day, ticket sales opened to all students and increased by $5 and will continue to increase every consecutive week.

The prices have increased from last year, when prices for students without ASB opened at $45 for the first week, as opposed to the price for non-senior students without ASB that started at $55 this year. 

While many students always wish that ticket prices could be lower, they said they understand that the commission tries its best to keep prices as low as possible. 

“I never really favor the ticket prices, as I’m sure not many people do, but the prices don’t affect my decision when I want go to school dances,” Lin said. 

The commission expects roughly spend a total of $16,000 on food and decorations and have 450 to 500 students attending. 

With the funds earned by this year’s formal, the commission is on track to move to an off-campus venue next year. Each dance has a separate budget, and the commission has decided to move money from the Homecoming account to the formal account. This way, Wang said, the commission can spend more on formal, as the Homecoming dance does not require as much money for decorations.

Still, the hope for an off-campus venue next year is also contingent on a big turnout to the dance to garner a profit from ticket sales. 

“Off campus will definitely be doable if we sell enough tickets,” Wang said, “and that’s why everyone should come to the dance!”

The commission said they will continue to consider student input for changes to the dance and make it the best formal possible.

Sophomore Ben Bray, who plans to attend, does not have any major changes he would like to see from last year.

“The theme sounds really fun,” Bray said. “I’m really excited for formal; it’s a really great night to just hang out with your friends.”