Moving from Australia to the US, I have had the opportunity to immerse myself in a foreign culture. When I started high school, I was excited to experience my first homecoming dance, something that seemed “so American.” Before experiencing homecoming myself, I thought that the dance required a nice outfit, a group of friends, and a ticket for entry. Yet little did I know that this dance causes individuals to stress for weeks prior to the event.
At school, the weeks preceding homecoming consist of individuals asking one another to the dance in extravagant ways and making plans for the night. This creates an environment where individuals who do not have anyone asking them feel embarrassed and awkward to attend the dance alone. This is especially true for the Freshman who may not be friends with many people yer. This immediately creates a barrier for them attending the dances.
Although attending dances with a date is not compulsory, students have attached a negative stigma to “going stag” to dances. Even though the school encourages students to attend the dance with a group of friends, the student body discourages it. Also, at the dance itself, the DJ plays the traditional slow dance music. This music makes it awkward for both the people who do not have a date and the people who are not in relationships with their date. In fact, during the slow dance song, many individuals do not feel comfortable with their dates, and suddenly ‘need to go to the bathroom,’ in order to evade the awkwardness.
In other cultures, individuals usually only attend dances together if they are dating. For the majority of the student body, individuals are not in relationships, so formal dances are a time to dress up in nice attire, take photos with different people, and enjoy dancing with different friend groups. Not only does this make every student feel included, but the weeks preceding the dance consists of excitement, instead of worry. This makes the dance stress-free and fun for everyone to enjoy.
Dances should not be something that students feel stressed and worried about. Instead, the student body of LGHS should make a change to the traditional dance culture of the school and create an environment where individuals feel confident attending dances with their friends, and not with one individual.This would simplify the weeks leading up to the dance, and help people focus on the dance itself, instead of worrying about corsages, whose friend group to go and take photos with, and how they should ask their date. This would also reduce the obnoxious cost that attending the dances add up to.