The School Dance
Brooklyn Jones | Maui High School, Class of 2022
Gyms, cafeterias and hotels with crepe paper and colorful lights strung around the ceiling. Today’s and yesterday’s hit songs echoing through the crowd. Three groups of people: those against the wall, those dancing as a mass of students and those lining up for the bathroom. If you’ve ever experienced a school dance, these descriptions have likely brought back memories of your high school years.
Listening to stories of school dances and dramatic scenes from coming-of-age romantic comedy movies has increased the anticipation of these events for upperclassmen students. Safety precautions canceled public school dances and private school dances were few and far between last year. But students across Maui have several school dances to look forward to now. One of these is Lahainaluna’s Winter Ball at the Westin Maui Resort& Spa, Kā‘anapali. Piper Pascua, a senior from Lahainaluna, describes how excited she is for this special night: “I consider myself a very social person and I like that dances give you the opportunity to socialize with others and spend time with your friends.” Piper has terrific memories of dances, banquets and balls in her high school career, from getting done-up with her friends to singing along with everyone to a great song the DJ put on. Once, at a middle school dance, the energy was a bit low, so two of her classmates started a dance battle: one was a trained dancer and the other was “most definitely not.” She says it was still thrilling to watch the two try to show each other up, though, and “their energy rubbed off on everyone else.” The dance was more lively than ever after the dance battle had concluded.
Many people have an excellent time letting loose and being a part of the crowd and some have the same amount of fun away from the spotlight. “School dances are entertaining but I wouldn’t participate in them,” Rylan Acorda Agapay, a Maui High School junior, remarks. He doesn’t care for dancing in front of others and prefers to enjoy himself on the sidelines. However, Rylan knows his upcoming Junior Prom will be an excellent opportunity for him and his classmates to have a blast despite his apprehensiveness. To make the night even more memorable, he wants to “pull up to prom” with his group of friends in a nice car. In his eyes, trying his hardest to dress formally definitely warrants a flashy arrival. And who knows? Maybe with a grand enough entrance, Rylan’s friends will convince him to join them on the dance floor.
Dancing and friends aren’t the only aspects that contribute to prom’s fame, though. Getting a chance to dress up, especially in a place with a very casual fashion attitude like Maui, is a whole other reason to look forward to them. Although Jansen Aceret isn’t attending his senior prom this year due to COVID, as a “lover of fashion,” he appreciates the effort people put into looking their best for a one-night-only event. The Maui High senior can’t wait to serve as his friends’ stylist and help them get dressed. Still, Jansen explains his attitude toward high school dances shifted during this past year and a half: “I think that the pandemic has taught me a lot about practicality and how it doesn’t matter whether or not you attend school dances.” Instead of putting so much emotional weight on one night, he seems to prefer making every day with his friends a special, unforgettable one.
Some look back on school dances as the best nights of their lives and others forget who their date was. But no matter which type of person they are, most remember those nights for their sole purpose; the opportunity to let loose a little with classmates outside of school. And as our high school years come to a close, there is little else we could ask for than to make more memories with the people we have grown up with.
Google® Is Not Everything … is a monthly column authored by high school students. The title of the column emphasizes education is more than just googling a topic. Google® is a registered trademark. This month’s guest columnist is Brooklyn Jones, a Senior at Maui High School. She is an assistant editor in her school’s journalism program, Saber Scribes, and also a member of the Girls Can STEM Club. Brooklyn is in the ACOM Pathway at Maui High, specializing in graphic design. In her free time, she swims for Hawai‘i Swimming Club, bakes and likes to go to the beach. She is the daughter of Melissa Ligot Jones and Darren Jones.