The school dance culture at MIHS

School dances: Ideally, a chance to get dressed up, flirt with your crush and have a stress-free night with new and old friends. Realistically, they’re a test on friendships, a chance to exclude whomever you please, and an easy way to lighten one’s wallet.

As a wise man once said “it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey” if that is truly the case, then are the endless weeks of dramatic planning leading up to dances worth it? Besides, what about the students who cannot afford to spend the night like a Hollywood star two to three times a year?

Average “Full Package” Tolo Cost
Makeup: $40
Hair: $40
Outfit: $100
Nails: $35
Spray Tan: $20
Dance Tickets (x2): $30
Dinner (x2): $40
Party Bus (x2): $60
Boutonniere: $7
Total: $367


Of course, none of these expenses are required, and no one is forced into buying anything. Sadly, the truth is that twice a year MIHS students are spending more or less than this amount of money with the hope of a perfect night. However, it is impossible to control every variable of an evening, and in this desperate attempt to construct the best night ever, too many feelings are hurt.

Finding a date who will be fun, polite to your parents, and compatible  with your friends and their dates can feel just as challenging as passing the APUSH exam. After checking all the boxes and building up the courage to ask that cutie in your second period class, you may realize that all asking someone really means is a cheesy picture (hopefully you can avoid the awkward hand positioning). Logically, it would make more sense to avoid having to create a “group,” and instead, actually go out  with your date and dance at the school event. After, if the opportunity arises, you can meet up with your friends.

Unfortunately creating groups is unavoidable, because it is the most concrete way to place yourself on the social ladder. Flash forward to the next day, scrolling through your newsfeed, which will be overflowing with pictures of smiling girls in sequin dresses, squatting in front of smirking boys.

“Can you believe she went with him?” “How did they get in that group?” A personification of status: the only time when it is socially acceptable to flaunt your exclusive group and judge people based on who they associate themselves with.

Although some feelings may have been hurt, and tears shed, at least you will be able to tell yourself it was all worth it because it was a once in a lifetime event. That is, until you remember that the next dance is only a few months away.

I am aware that this article may not apply to every student at MIHS. It is based on personal experiences and observations which I thought other students might sympathize with.