School Dances: A Thing of the Past or an Opportunity for Student Development?

MySchoolDance.com aims to revive a tradition for today's kids

by Taylor Buckley

In today’s world, it seems that teenagers are more disconnected than ever. On average, high schoolers spend up to 9 hours connected to digital media ranging from social apps like Facebook and Snapchat, to computers and television. The verdict is still out on the effects of all this screen time, but one thing for sure is that students have less opportunity for face-to-face interactions.

When in school, students spend time learning and studying, sometimes also behind a screen. At home, between extracurricular activities and homework, they are checking Instagram stories and streaming the latest episode of Pretty Little Liars. Most of the time, once kids get to high school, they are not having playdates with a variety of friends.

In the past, school dances like homecoming and prom served as a place for social interaction. Students are forced to find a date or group of friends to go with, go to the store and purchase an outfit (although online shopping makes this less so anymore), and have real, sometimes awkward, contact with other kids at the dance.

Recently, school dances have become a thing of the past. Why is that so? Part of it has to do with lack of student interest in actually interacting with others outside of a screen, an issue that needs to be fixed regardless, or we will all be walking around like zombies with no communication skills. Another reason is that teachers and administrators do not want to plan school dances because in the past they have been a lot of work. Finally, with greater parent involvement, schools have come under fire for disciplining students who do not abide by school rules for behavior at these types of events. The combination of decreased student interest, difficulty planning, and greater risks for behavioral challenges, it would seem that the era of the school dance is dying. But, should this continue?

If school dances are dying, why should schools try to bring them back?

  • Dances are incredible fundraising opportunities for student activities
  • Dances create a greater sense of community within the school and boost morale
  • They provide a supervised safe space for students
  • Dances create memories that can last beyond school
  • School dances force students to spend time interacting with others, developing social skills that will be invaluable to their later success in life

Bringing dances back to life requires a change to how they are run. Currently, dance planning is stuck in the stone age of binders with past information, cash boxes, selling tickets at lunch, and paper permission slips. Neither students nor parents operate like that anymore. Being on their phones for several hours a day, students want to purchase tickets online, and parents want to receive forms to sign via email.

My School Dance provides the platform that moves dances from paper tickets to digital downloads. It is completely free for schools to use and facilitates:

  • Secure online ticket sales
  • Collection of Student, Guest, and Parent Signatures on Behavioral Contracts and Permission Forms
  • Creation of an online dance landing page for students to view details and purchase tickets
  • Downloads for Budgets and checklists that support dance planning
  • User interaction between teacher and student dance planners

Most importantly, My School Dance is the solution to:

  • NEWCASTLE, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 01: Students perform dance routines to the song "Macarena" on the dancefloor at St James' Park on July 1, 2011 in Newcastle, United Kingdom. After months of preparation more than 200 final year students aged 15 to 16 from Cramlington Learning Village attended a leaver's prom at St James Park, Newcastle. The prom marks the end of GCSE examinations and the completion of their high school studies. (Photo by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images)Fundraising money from dance ticket sales getting lost or stolen
  • Chasing students down for permission forms and signatures on behavioral agreements
  • Reducing liability for schools based on student behavior
  • Losing the school dance and all the benefits that come along with it

So if you remember how impactful school dances were to your high school memories, check out My School Dance for your school today. Remember, it is completely free for schools to use, so get it for your upcoming prom or homecoming now! www.myschooldance.com

Author Further Reading

This post includes mentions of a partner of MindRocket Media Group the parent company of edCircuit

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