The Nugget

Helena High Dances: We Could Do Better

Sarah Mull, Writer

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Imagine walking into a large building on the biggest night of high school history: prom night. When you finally get past the teacher with the breathalyzer, you step into the dance area. What you see however, shocks you. The room is fairly empty. Isn’t this the supposed to be the biggest school event of the year? You ask yourself. It’s a large room, sure, but almost everyone is huddled into one corner of it. Although there are people coming and going, there’s nowhere near enough people to fill the space. The decorations are lackluster, and the food table looks barren. What went wrong? You wonder.

Have the dances at Helena High School really gone this downhill? Are the people in charge of the dances really doing enough? Why have so many students decided not to attend such a high school tradition? I decided to find out by interviewing various people on the subject.

Ella Hardy, a junior at Helena High School, says she went to her middle school dances, but never the ones at Helena High. Hardy said she is not planning to go to any of the dances this year, commenting, “from what I’ve heard from people, they’re not that fun and you don’t really do much.” She does not believe school dances are important, but that she would be more inclined the attend the dances if there was live music, games, more food, and better information
on the dances.

Gwen Rozel, another junior at Helena High, said she attended the freshman dance. According to Rozel, the dance lacked decorations and only had a DJ. “I think maybe only 30 people showed up. It was such a wallflower event because everyone was just hugging the walls and no one was actually dancing,” explained Rozel. If she had the power to change anything about the school dances she would change the music. When I asked Rozel if she would ever go to a dance again, she replied, “not if they keep up what they’re doing now.”

I decided it was time to contact the student council members because they are important for winter formal and some of homecoming. Addie Slanger, the historian, Kaitlyn Newlun, the senior representative, and Bryndon Wilkerson, the president of student council shared with me their thoughts on the school dances. I asked them if they believed enough people were attending the school dances. “I think so, but it depends on the dance. Like I would say Prom and Winter Formal there was a lot of people, but it’s harder for the smaller dances like the Freshman Breaking Down the Walls Dance,” replied Newlun. “The budget for the school dances depends on how much money we have. It’s a couple hundred for the DJ and then decorations…We do one big fundraiser, but then we gain money through the dances. That’s our fundraiser for the next
dance,” said Wilkerson. “I would change the location, but there’s not a whole lot of locations in Helena. I love the idea of live music, but I just don’t know any bands that are in Helena,” Wilkerson added. Slanger agreed, by stating, “I like the idea of music as well, but I feel like it’s
not going to be what they think it is. I feel like music from the speaker is really fun, loud, and it’s all music we know, but live bands can be different.” Slanger maintained school dances are important, claiming, “They boost morale. It’s a good break from homework and classes. We just
need to encourage more participation.”

Although my last school dance experience left me asking the question, “what went wrong?”, After interviewing multiple people, I have come to the conclusion that the school dances are very capable of improving. The Student Council sounds like they are working hard to form new ideas for the upcoming dances. Hopefully students will feel more inclined to participate in the age-old tradition of school dances this year.

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Helena High Dances: We Could Do Better