Aly’s Column: You missed out on Winter Formal

How students reacted badly to the news of winter formal dance being in the gym and how it reflects larger social issues within Saint Stephen’s.


Jackson Nealis

A top view of the decorations on the dance floor.

Alyson Folkens, Staff Writer

A couple of weeks ago, the Saint Stephen’s Student Council held a Winter Wormal in the school gymnasium. Like many of my peers, when I first heard about it being held in the gym, I imagined a gloomy scene of bored high schoolers awkwardly dancing on the gym floor, but I was pleasantly surprised walking in when I saw the gorgeous decorations and student’s having a ball on the dance floor. 

Compared to other big events (think Prom and Homecoming), there wasn’t much hype for this school dance, and the ticket purchases started off slow. On campus, word spread like a wildfire that no one was going (it practically became cool to say), which just made less people want to go. 

Luckily, in the end, there was a decent turnout and the dance was a lot of fun, but I feel this phenomenon of immediate negative thinking also reflects a bigger issue at Saint Stephen’s and beyond.

It seems anytime something— a dance, a change, an event—  doesn’t sound great at first, everyone decides they don’t want to do it.  They then move on to the next thing without actually giving any good thought.

When it comes to school events and the like, people tend to “go with the flow” instead of deciding for themselves. I’m even guilty of it sometimes, and I probably wouldn’t have gone to the dance if my friends said they weren’t going.  But the beautiful result of the dance is proof that we should be more open to ideas and jump into opportunities for a fun experience. 

Though the ticket purchases started off slow, during the last few days to buy tickets, StuCo members were encouraging everyone to go and promising a good time. Many stayed stubborn to their vision of a lame school dance.  They weren’t able to be persuaded, but a few others and I decided to put trust in the Council and get tickets. 

The day of the dance came and there were over 100 attendees, all with smiles on their faces. 

Walking into the dance, the gym was unrecognizable, with beautiful lights and fabric hanging from the ceiling. The dance floor had colorful, moving, and flashing lights welcoming people to the dance floor. The DJ played a combination of well-known pop songs and upbeat dancing music, allowing everyone to show off their moves even if they don’t know popular music. And, the star of the show? The chocolate fountain. 

As I entered the gym, I looked to my right, and was greeted by a beautiful fountain of flowing chocolate and a series of dippable sweets: cookies, strawberries, and pretzels. From that point on, I wasn’t seen without a tower of chocolate on my plate, and I’d like to give a big thanks to Ms. Bolotin and Mr. Whelan for making that happen.  

School dances have a reputation of being boring and going on for too long, but StuCo did an amazing job with this dance. Everyone sighs when they hear of a school dance, especially in the gym, because of the preconceptions, but if students think about the restrictions that have to be made for a school dance, they’ll realize what a difficult job it would be to make a fun scene.