First school-wide dance hosted indoors since pandemic

For the first time since Homecoming 2019, Shorewood hosted a school-wide dance. With the theme “Night in Hollywood,” members of Student Council were excited to present the first big indoor event for students since before the pandemic. The spring Hollywood dance took place in the arena on Saturday, March 12, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Snacks and drinks were provided, along with music. Tickets were sold for 10 dollars.

Mariana Shaffer, senior and president of Student Council, believes “Hollywood” is a suitable theme for students to dress how they feel and have a good time.

“A big reason we went with Hollywood was because in the past, there has been some controversy over whether students wanted dances to be more casual or not,” Shaffer said. “[The executive board] thought that theme was really easy to either dress up or down for.”

Like many other things in recent years, the process of making the dance official had its complications.

“We asked [Mr. Kenney and Ms. Jamerson] in the beginning of February and they said if we wanted to do it, we would have to wait until Covid cases were down a certain amount,” Shaffer said. “It was sort of a difficult decision, but the Omicron variant had started to settle down, and it was clear that things were getting a lot better, and that’s when we decided [it would be best].”

As for the rest of the school year, large indoor events have started to become a part of the conversation once again.

“We’re not really focusing on other dances right now, but just more indoor events that could be possible now that the mask mandate has been lifted,” Shaffer said. 

With the decrease in positive cases nationally, schools across the country are relaxing their masking policies and are working to bring back indoor events on a larger scale. Due to the state of the pandemic, the thought of being able to safely host a dance was a more attainable goal. 

“When the idea came up, we began with cautious optimism. I was in support of a school dance because I think we can do this,” said Tim Kenney, principal.

Masks were recommended but not required at the dance and there were several other safety protocols in place.

“We are going to have negative PCR tests [within 72 hours of the dance] or proof of vaccination to get through the door,” Kenney said. “Those are some things that will be in place, because right now Covid isn’t here, and we want to keep it that way.”

Before the event, Kenney and Shaffer remained hopeful that the night would be a success, and that it will pave the way for a normal end to the school year after two previous years in the midst of the pandemic.

“To me it’s like we’re gearing up for a celebration together, and many celebrations of which we haven’t been able to do together because of Covid, for the past two years. I encourage people to show up and be a part of it.” Kenney said. 

“We haven’t been able to get together like this in a while, so take it all in and have a good time,” Shaffer said. 

For many students, the dance was their first time attending a school event in years, and for others, their first high school dance ever.

“I feel like it will be super fun, and a new thing, [I’m excited] to see what a high school dance will be like,” Maia Broderick, sophomore, said a few days before the dance. “I feel comfortable with the set precautions because of the testing and proof of vaccinations. I’m also fine with the optional masks because of what the CDC has been saying and how [Covid] numbers currently are.”