A Look Back at the Holiday Dance

Anthony Bertollo, Staff Writer

Every year, fall sports wind down and spirit week concludes and in its wake is the announcement of Hawthorne High School’s annual Holiday Dance at Macaluso’s. This event is one of only two dances throughout the whole school year, the other being prom. However, prom is mainly a senior event and only a few underclassmen attend if they are lucky enough to be asked to go by a senior. Luckily for underclassmen, the Holiday Dance is open to students of all grade levels. “I think it [the Holiday Dance] brings everyone together because this is the only dance that you can be with everyone,” says sophomore Emily Knepper. 

The student council fundraiser, run by Ms. Russo, is one of the biggest events of the school year is always has students talking. “I think the Holiday Dance benefits the students because it is something to look forward to and something to get excited about. During this time of year us students tend to get tired out and it is a great way to bring back excitement!”explains Student Council President Caleigh McCarthy. Many students began planning out who would sit at their table and possibly who they would ask to the dance. Most of the attendees were seniors who had never stepped foot on the Macaluso’s dance floor. “I thought it was really really cool to see my classmates go out of their comfort zone to have a good time with everyone and see the experience [of the Holiday Dance] for the first and last time,” says Student Council PR Secretary Sydney Bavaro. With the large number of students in the senior class, this seemed to a jammed packed event that no one would ever forget.

The cost of the Holiday Dance totaled to $80, which included a $20 deposit fee to sign up. However, seniors had a way to get out of paying the hefty price. Months in advance, every senior was given a wreath sale form. Should a senior sell 15 or more wreaths, they would earn themselves a free ticket to the Holiday Dance! While many seniors didn’t bother and simply paid the price, others went the extra mile and sold enough wreaths to attend for free “I was excited and looking forward to having a good time without having to worry about coming up with the money,” says senior Jasmin LePage, who sold more than 15 wreathes. 

  As the day of the dance drew closer, students began scrambling to find the perfect attire to wear. “Every year the play and Holiday Dance are planned so close together so by the time I should be looking for a dress, we are doing full scene rehearsals [for the play] that I just can’t miss. So this year my mom ordered 2 dresses for me super last minute that came the night before the dance!,” says Student Council Board of Rep. Ava Tower. In addition. numerous friend groups mapped out where they would gather to take pictures prior to arriving at 7:30pm. Finally, on Thursday, December 13, 2019, the day of the dance arrived. Prior to this date, the student body was informed that they could sign themselves out early in the school day via a parent permission note. Later that night, students got their formal gear ready as they prepared to head out to Macaluso’s. After pictures were taken with friends and family alike, all of the students attending the dance made their way over to Macaluso’s. For many, it would be their last time.

By 8:00 p.m., each table was filled to the brim with their respective guests as students. Three tables at a time, students were called up to eat the food that Macaluso’s had to offer, as many others could only watch in dismay as their wait progressed. “I felt like it wasn’t too bad because they called different tables at a time and luckily I was able to get a good spot in line. If they called everyone at once it would’ve been a mess but I think they did a good job organizing the order of the tables”, says senior Jason Melendez. After everybody satisfied their hunger and quenched their thirst, it was time to hit the dance floor!

“I was very excited, the energy on the dance floor and how nice everything was set up and how kind the servants were. It was an amazing experience.”, says senior David Sancho. Courtesy of iReserve Entertainment, the students began to dance the night away. However, some veterans weren’t too anxious when stepping foot on the dance floor. “I mean this year not a lot but I was definitely [more excited to dance] freshman year.”says Student Council Vice President Aubrey Lewis. Many classics boomed throughout the dance hall, such as All I want For Christmas is You (Mariah Carey) as well as many modern songs that the students of Hawthorne High School jam out to on a regular basis, such as Mo Bamba (Sheck Wes).  After a couple hours of dancing, it was time for dessert! The students kicked off their dancing shoes and chowed down on various treats, such as chocolate cake and ice cream! 

The sugar rush of dessert was enough energy to carry on the holiday spirit for the rest of a dance. A couple songs later and before anyone knew it, the dance was over. Students began to gather their belongings and clear out their tables. For many seniors, it was a somber moment, as this marked the end of their last Holiday Dance. “I felt saddened in a way but happy because I knew that we went out with a bang and that everyone [(the seniors)] enjoyed themselves for one of the last times at a dance,”says Student Council Sergeant at Arms Adam Deitrich. 

As another Holiday Dance comes and goes, it’s good to look back on how important it is to the students of Hawthorne High School. It gives life to a time of the year that’s usually bland for most students. It gives the underclassmen a chance to express themselves and bond with the otherwise intimidating upperclassmen.Lastly, the money goes towards the student council so they can continue to bless Hawthorne High School with the fun activities they continue host and brand new events that could become staples in the future. While a high school dance may not mean much to other high schools that have several dances throughout their school year, the Holiday Dance will always hold a special place in the hearts of the students at Hawthorne High School.