Do DVC Students Want to Attend School Dances?

Vivian De Waart and Victor Pulido

As homecoming loomed around the corner, many students were skeptical if they should attend the formal dance. In the past, Da Vinci School dances saw issues of limited attendance and low school spirit. 

Donald Puathasnanon, the current advisor for DVC’s leadership believes there are no issues regarding attendance at school dances. In the past, Da Vinci students have only been exposed to semi-formal dances. However, labeling the dance as a “semi-formal” allowed for people to often take these dances less seriously. 

“Dances prior to this was technically labeled “semi-formal”, but over the course of the last few years, semi-formal has taken on a less formal like name,” explained Puathasnanon. 

Previously, Da Vinci only held semi-formal dances in which student attendance was roughly 40-60% of the DVC population and as our school has gotten bigger the attendance has gone down to an estimated 30-35%. 

Seeing the decline in attendance and lack of motivation to attend school dances, DVS’s leadership planned a formal that took on the theme of Homecoming. 

“We took the feedback from a lot of our students that told us they’d rather have a traditional homecoming like a normal high school,” said Oliver Draxton, a senior student in leadership at DVS. 

After taking feedback from students into consideration, the planning of a formal “homecoming” dance seems to be the right idea. 

“The numbers are still coming in, we’re not sure, but the reason we think [the homecoming dance] is more popular is because the people who are excited to come are not the people who typically come to school events,” said Puathasnanon. 

The main difference in how other school dances operate compared to Da Vinci is that other schools have a football team. According to Puathasnanon, other schools’ spirit is based around athletics and many students prefer a more traditional high school experience. The workaround in this scenario became making a flag football tournament which is seemingly an accomplishment.

“I think we are waiting on one more girl’s team and one more boy’s team, but other than that, the slots are all filled up,” said Claudia Brown, a sophomore in leadership. 

Nonetheless, just because a school has a football team, does not necessarily ensure a good school spirit. 

“No, I don’t think [Mira Costa] has good school spirit overall,” said Erica Gronbach, alumni from Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach. “It’s very segregated within popularity. If you’re super popular then there’s a lot of spirit going to games and doing dress-up days. But for the less popular kids, it’s nonexistent.”

Although the dance seems to be just as popular, if not more popular than previous dances, some students are still not sure if attending the dance is something they want to do. 

“I was skeptical [to go to the dance] because I know that [in] the dances in the past not many people showed up but now seeing people excited for the dance makes me want to go,” said junior Kiana Brady. 

The question of whether students should go to dances remains for them to answer. The opportunity to experience a more traditional high school dance has even certain crowds of people excited. 

“[For] some people that’s not their idea of how to be social,” said Puathasnanon, “We have a lot of shy kids here [at DVC] and I don’t think that they feel comfortable going but a lot of them actually still really push themselves to step out of their comfort zone and go to these things.”