It’s a Saturday night. Everyone gets dressed up and comes to school, coming through the doors in a wrinkled dress shirt and khakis or a sparkly dress. Students walk onto the dance floor with lights flashing and people dancing to the music blaring in the background. Friends and classmates are taking pictures, singing and having a good time.
School dances have been a staple at Lane and other high schools across the nation for years, but Lane has seen a decrease in dance attendance, according to Assistant Principal Ms. Hanly.
The lowest attendance in recent years has been for Winter Formal (formerly Turnabout), and the Student Council Executive Board saw the need for a change.
“We needed to figure out something to change the culture about the dance,” said Board President Jaden Kuykendahl, Div. 957.
In an attempt to revive the dance, the board came up with a new plan: a Spring Fling.
The board decided to move the dance to the spring in order to have more time to organize an entertaining event, as it would be difficult to put together the best possible dance in time for a Winter Formal, according to Kuykendahl.
“We didn’t have time to do all these things, especially since it’s so close to finals and all of that stuff, so we were swamped with a lot of work,” Kuykendahl said. “So, we said we can always just move the dance.”
Kuykendahl suggested the possibility of having a student DJ for the event, as well as other ideas to change the atmosphere.
Hanly said that the dance taking place in the spring may help boost attendance because students are less busy in comparison to early February.
“I would think that’s a time when there’s less going on in the building, so it’s an opportunity,” Hanly said.
In January, administration sent out a survey to students to determine if it was worth having a Winter Formal this year, or if it would be better attended if it were a casual dance instead of a formal.
Hanly said that administration sent the survey predicting there would be a low amount of students who still wanted Winter Formal, and if they did want a dance, they would like it to be casual.
According to Hanly, only a few hundred students responded to the survey, but those that did still wanted a dance, and generally opted for it to be formal, so administration and Student Council decided to continue with having a mid-year dance.
However, attendance has not only been an issue with Winter Formal in recent years; according to Hanly, attendance for the Homecoming Dance has been going down as well, and attendance issues may not be unique to Winter Formal.
Some students have been opting to get together with friends outside of school on the night of the dance instead of actually going to the dance, creating events referred to as “Nocos.”
Maddy King, Div. 959, said that she decided to go to a Noco this year because of the freedom she had to make the night memorable.
“I think it’s because there’s a lot of restrictions that Homecoming has, and I think that when you do Noco, you have so much control over what you want to do,” King said.
“My friends and I got a party bus and went out to dinner and took pictures and we got dressed up and it was so much fun,” King said. “I had more fun at Noco than I did at any of the years of homecoming.”
While events such as “Nocos” might continue to be a tradition for upperclassmen, Hanly and Student Council are coming up with different approaches to increase dance attendance.
Hanly said that administration and Student Council would examine the attendance numbers for Spring Fling this year and see if the changes were successful.
Kuykendahl also said that he’s excited about the Spring Fling and coming up with way to make the dance more enjoyable for everyone.
“I want to see what the dance can do,” Kuykendahl said. “It would be nice to have some social events in the second semester that students can go to, just a place for kids to hang out.”