At Marlborough, semi-formal is the one event in eleventh grade when the entire grade comes together, hugging and complimenting people they normally wouldn’t. Semi-formal is a bonding experience for the tenth and eleventh grade classes, from complaining about the theme to finding the right dress. The only problem is that it’s only one night. If Marlborough hosted at least two events per year, there would be more opportunities to socialize with classmates, the dance could be less expensive and there would be less pressure to find a date and buy a dress.
Multiple events per year would give students more chances to mingle outside their friend groups in and out of the Marlborough community.
At the dance, I spoke with so many people that I usually don’t get to spend time with because we each have our distinct friend groups and don’t have classes together. Semi-formal is an opportunity to socialize with another grade, which strengthens the Marlborough community and upper-school bond overall. In addition, I met so many dates and guests from other schools that connected me to the greater community of schools in Los Angeles. Marlborough provides scarce opportunities to meet people from other schools, especially boys. However, these experiences are essential not only in developing skills for socializing with the opposite sex—which I hate to say so many of us lack—but also essential to have in high school, before college. I love Marlborough, but I also sacrifice a co-ed, somewhat normal high school experience to go here. Dances are opportunities to have these experiences, so we should make the most of them.
In addition, having two dances would allow the school to reduce the price of tickets, which would in turn allow students to invite more people. In fact, the dance could be at a cheaper venue where more people could afford to attend .Thus, two dances would allow not only another chance to socialize but a chance to socialize on a greater scale. I had a number of friends who simply said seventy dollars was ridiculous and that they weren’t going to go. Of course, I wasn’t going to pay $280 for a date and a couple friends to join me. At the same time, teachers and friends encouraged the student body to make the dance a casual event by inviting friends rather than a single date in order to reduce pressure. I agree that inviting friends would take a lot of the pressure off the night, but it’s realistically an unattainable goal with tickets priced at $70. If the tickets were priced at $35 to $50, more guests would attend which would mean the class would make more money, have more fun and make the same or increase its revenue from the dance.
Although semi-formal is a nice event and an opportunity to unify the grade, the goal of bonding could be extended and reinforced by a second dance throughout the year—one that could be more casual, cheaper and with more people. I propose having two dances for tenth and eleventh graders, one at the end of midterms and one right before spring break. Each would be a good sending off for breaks and a celebration for the work the students have done throughout the quarter.π