By Jasmine Virgen
Winter Ball, the annual school dance, has been a tradition for over 20 years. The semi-formal dance had previously been held at the Elks Lodge, Eagles Hall and the school gym. The fundraiser celebrates the holidays while simultaneously raising money for the Sophomore Class.
Attendance has been very low these past few years, said leadership teacher Allen Nakamura. “It used to be that over 650 kids used to attend but now what’s happened is it’s barely over 100. It’s not like our regular dances where a lot of kids go.”
Despite campaign efforts, many students don’t attend dances because they are unaware of when and where the dance is. Senior Kathy Voong went to the dance her freshman year but felt that it was not advertised enough. Voong stated that she had not heard about the dance this year.
“I think more students would go if there was incentive,” said Voong. She suggests that they hold an election for king and queen, similar to Homecoming court. “If they announced it at the dance, I think more people would go.”
Senior Yishan McNabb agrees that dances are known for their low attendance. “I bet if you made them on Friday night people would be more likely to go. People have to be around Friday night but you don’t have to be around Saturday.”
Funds for the school dance come from the Associated Student Body (ASB), the school organization in charge of student interests. They finance the hall, DJ, food, security officers and decorations.
Nakamura said that he has to decide at a certain point if it’s worth it to hold the dance.
“Kids do buy tickets at the last minute. We probably could have had more sales than last year but not that much more. It’s kind of a gamble having a dance like that.”
Leadership plans to brainstorm with students and administration, improve methods of promotion, and host different activities next year to avoid another cancelled event.
Until then, the Sophomore Committee in leadership will be holding a Valentine’s Day dance to fundraise money for their class. The dance will be held at Eagles Hall on Friday, Feb. 19.
“The key to this is people buying tickets and not waiting for the last minute. Otherwise we’re not sure who’s in and who’s out,” Nakamura said.
Nakamura believes students would have a lot of fun if they would take a chance and attend dances with a group of friends. “Just let yourself go for a couple of hours […] it’s all kind of a high school experience.”