By: Caitlin Haggerty
The media glamorizes the idea of a “school dance.” As adolescents, we have grown adept to expecting some sort of cheesy school dance scene like in movies such as Back to the Future, Sixteen Candles, and High School Musical. Although, not everything can be as glittery and perfect as it is in the movies. But, even without the elaborate plotlines and anticipated climax of a school dance, they are still fun. At Beaver, dances used to be the PLACE to be. Hanging out with friends, jamming to some music, and having fun. So what has changed? There are some preconceived ideas about school dances. Yes, they can maybe be interpreted as uncool when no one shows up except a few seniors reminiscing on their high school years through nostalgic music, but that is because people don’t buy tickets in fear of OTHER people not buying tickets. The social concept of “following the crowd”, also known as the bandwagon effect, comes into play here. The bandwagon effect is a psychological idea where people, despite their own beliefs, do something mainly because other people are doing it. To understand more about the community’s perspective on school dances, we turned to students.
Bebe Stockwell ‘20, a Beaver senior, speaks on behalf of the school dance phenomenon. When asked what her opinion on Beaver school dances was, she claimed that they are “a good way for students to come together and make new friends.” Yet, she feels “as though students are scared to go because no one knows how many people are going”. Stockwell hits the nail on the head with this: If students do not think other students are going, then they are less likely to attend. So, how do we fix this?
Underclassmen, Sadie Stedman ‘22, exclaims that “there is nothing more the school can do, it comes down to the student body culture.” So, fellow students of Beaver Country Day School, we hold the fate of these dances. Students have the opportunity to change their mindsets around the purpose of school dances – school bonding, getting to know one another, and having fun. The essence of a school dance is reliant upon the people there and their attitudes. If people come with friends and encourage others to attend as well, then the environment, in turn, becomes fun because it is populous. Hopefully, in future years we can turn the bandwagon around and through the doors of Bradley Hall to enjoy the true amazingness of Beaver school dances.