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The Northwood Howler

The Student News Site of Northwood High School

The Northwood Howler

The Student News Site of Northwood High School

The Northwood Howler

Is the price right for dances? Almost.

Yuri Song
ALMOST THERE: Small improvements can make school dances far more enjoyable for students.

Why spend almost $100 on a school dance ticket when you could go to Disneyland for the same price? High school dances are about getting ready with friends, making post-dance plans and crafting memories. Yet, the actual dance itself might not match the price tag. How can class councils and ASB improve on what they are already doing to make the dances worth the buck? 

It’s important to acknowledge that Northwood’s dance tickets, averaging about $105 for non-ASB card holders, are reasonably priced and comparable to other IUSD schools like Portola at $99 and Woodbridge at $113. Class councils spend a lot of time planning the dances; setting the price is complicated. 

The cheapest initial prices councils can offer are flash sales with an ASB card. After that, prices increase by $10 per week, and $15 more for non-ASB card holders. Profits from all dances help fund future events such as the senior barbecue.

Many things are being done right. One of the standout features of most dances is the variety of activities. From high-energy fun like moshing to relaxing options like building Legos at Winter Formal, there is something for everyone. However, students also have feedback on how to improve it further.

The physical photo booths at this year’s Winter Formal should become regular at all dances. Having printed photos to keep provides a tangible memento that holds sentimental value over time. 

“I think it’s really sweet that they give physical copies,” freshman Kailey Yeo said. “I have one photo on my desk standing up using a photo holder and I also used my second copy to put in my binder cover.” 

ASB faces a challenge in getting students to return to the dance floor due to the frequency of formal dances and the cost associated with them. Often, students wait until prom or only attend one dance their whole high school career.

“People might not go especially if you’re gonna spend time or money on a winter formal only to have prom a couple months later,” senior Luis Maldonado said. 

Sophomore Class Council’s decision to replace Spring Fling with a movie night this year was a step in the right direction. By making school dances a rarity, anticipation and excitement about attending increases.

There may still be places to improve, however. Creating a unique experience through a well-defined theme that lends itself to better branding could encourage more students to attend. 

For example, the “Roaring Twenties” winter formal theme at Portola last year inspired Spirit Week activities like “Old Money vs. New Money.” This 1920s theme was carried to the Art Deco style of the venue, making for a cohesive and memorable night.

In the end, the dance itself is only a small part of the formal experience, and there are plenty of things students can do to maximize the luster of the event. Will it ever rival the magic of Disneyland? Probably not, but we can keep heading in that direction.

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About the Contributor
Courtney Lee
Courtney Lee, Staff Writer
Courtney Lee is a sophomore staff writer still figuring out if she's a winter cool or a spring cool. If you spot someone struggling with a locker in 501, it's probably her. In her free time, she loves playing the bass clarinet, reading new and emerging authors and amassing a collection of the fanciest mechanical pencils in town.

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