Winter semi-formal dance canceled


Julia Barbati

Shaler Area usually holds an annual winter semi-formal dance for all grade levels to attend and enjoy. For many years this was known as the Sadie Hawkins dance, but recently was rebranded as the winter semi-formal. 

“The last time we had Sadie Hawkins, there was talk that calling it ‘Sadie Hawkins’ was limiting.  Using that name, students believed it was only for girls asking the guys; therefore, by calling it a semi-formal, it is more welcoming to groups of friends, singles, and couples,” activities director Mrs. Mindy Thiel said. 

Despite the new name, there was a lack of tickets sold by the deadline this year and the dance had to be canceled. 

Initially, the goal was to sell at least 300 tickets in order for the dance to take place. When ticket sales lagged early on, this number was reduced. The number was lowered to a minimum of 200 tickets needing to be sold. By the end of the day on February 2 only 146 tickets were sold, and the dance was officially canceled. 

“You need a lot of people to have that atmosphere. Anytime you get below three hundred at a dance it’s like crickets. There’s just not enough dancers to fill the space,” Mrs. Thiel said. 

This outcome was not expected. This dance has been well attended in the past. Those who were involved in the planning of the dance were taken off guard with the low number of interested students. This was a shock due to the fact that a winter dance has taken place for many years and was always a success. 

Those who had bought tickets were disappointed by the announcement. Some students had already completely prepared for the dance by buying their tickets, clothing, and scheduling nail/hair appointments. The decision was last minute and the dance was supposed to be the next night, so students were understandably frustrated.

“Many students were very upset about the dance being canceled. Most people bought dresses, shoes, or got their nails done,” senior Abby Graswick said. 

In the wake of the dance being canceled, there are two issues that need to be addressed. Since the winter dance was going to be a fundraiser for the junior class, there needs to be something put in place to make up for the money they would have raised. 

Also, with the overall lack of interest in recent events like the winter semi-formal becoming more common, what is to be done with events like it. Student council will now have to reevaluate for next year to decide if they will replace the winter dance in order to guarantee funds being raised.

“Traditionally [Sadies] was the Junior Class big fundraiser. They would host it, decorate for it, and would get the profits for it. Now that we lost that, do we now make the Winter Classic the big push before senior year?” Thiel wondered.