Will next weekend’s dance reverse a negative trend?
Talon Talks – Staff Editorial
This year has seen a dramatic decline in attendance at dances. Many students attended the back to school dance, slightly fewer went to Homecoming, and hardly anyone went to Sadie’s.
What will happen at Sno Daze? Some might think it will just follow the trend, and few will go to the dance. However, we in the Talon Staff suspect that Sno Daze will actually be more popular than recent dances.
At the back to school dance this year, the DJ and Minnehaha staff saw “inappropriate” and “unusual” behavior from the students, and decided they should play some less provocative songs at Homecoming, and be more strict on enforcing the rules.
The music played was interpreted by most students at Minnehaha as an overreaction, and many thought there had been a shift in dance policies. As has been stressed many times, there was not any change in policies at dances.
The perception that there has been a change, however, caused many students to “boycott” Sadie’s, in spite of the fact that the music played at Sadie’s was actually the regular music they used to play.
Since the dance policies scandal has passed, and most students understand the music will be just as enjoyable as before, and they will be able to have just as much fun as in the past, Sno Daze will probably not face the same problem that challenged past dances so much.
Last year, the back to school dance was on the stage in the auditorium, Homecoming was in the gym, and Sadie’s was in the campus room. This year, all three of those dances were held in the chapelteria. While the chapelteria is functional, it’s nothing compared to the space we had at north campus, and the lack of variety is irritating when we’ve had so much of it in previous years. The repetitive setting was probably one of the things pushing students from attending Sadie’s this year. Everyone got a sense of, “same old, same old.”
Because of this, Sno Daze will almost certainly see a higher attendance, because it’s being held at an exciting new space.
Unfortunately there’s another, slightly more difficult to overcome, thing keeping people from wanting to go to dances, and this can’t be solved with a new venue–a new surge of individualism.
People are increasingly less interested in dances. Not just this year, but for the past several, fewer and fewer people have been going to dances at Minnehaha. It aligns very well with a modern wave of individualism we see everywhere–fewer people going to church, people giving less to charity, less acceptance of immigrants.
These huge political trends actually match up with students’ decreasing interest in going to dances. People are more individual, they care less about participation in the community than they used to. This trend with dances is just another reflection of the national trend of independence.
The problem is, it doesn’t seem like there is an easy fix to this problem. It’s an issue of changing human nature, and if it means people care less about dances, there’s nothing anyone can realistically do to stop it by themselves. Luckily, the Minnehaha community is resilient, as was proven this August and countless other times.
Students may become more and more independent as the years go on, but the interdependence of the community will remain, and if we’re looking to keep dance attendance high, all we need to do is remember that not everything’s about ourselves; the real enjoyable part of life is when we’re all together.