Let us dance!

The debate continues on if HHS should add a winter formal


T. Rainey

While many schools around the area have a winter formal, Huntley has yet made the addition to its schedule.

By Chase Keller

A mass of excitement and shock fills the student body of Jacobs High School; on Jan. 27, the school’s Student Council announced the sale of over 100 tickets to the Feb. 11 Winter Wonderland Dance, a winter formal with similar intentions to a typical Homecoming dance. 

“Once I heard [a winter formal] was happening, I was very excited I would be able to go to one before I graduated,” JHS senior Maggie Zimmerman said.

Meanwhile, Huntley High School students are stuck wondering if a winter formal will ever debut. With a high Homecoming attendance and a large number of interested students, incorporating an extra dance into the schedule may be around the corner.

When principal Marcus Belin arrived on campus in 2018, the idea of a winter formal, commonly called a Sadie Hawkins dance, was immediately brought to the table as a potential addition to the school’s schedule. Yet, the idea was continuously shut down until the coronavirus pandemic, where the idea floated away for good.

“It came back to the level of people wanting it, but when the option came to the table, we didn’t think that we could pull it off,” Belin said. “For attendance, the cost of what it would be; is it just another Homecoming?” 

With pandemic restrictions being lifted within the last year, a return to the topic may be imminent. The idea of including a winter formal may seem easy, but contributions from several different individuals and programs, along with an effort from the student body is needed to execute. 

It starts with the student body, primarily Huntley Student Council members, stepping forward and proposing the idea to administration. At JHS, the Student Council proposed the idea to the Building Leadership Team, and after passing the required ticket sales, the team approved.

“As a Building Leadership Team, we said they could [have the dance], but they had to have a minimum of 100 students to participate,” said Debbie Stout, JHS assistant principal and Building Leadership Team member. “Otherwise, it’s not worth the money that we have to pay for the custodian, the DJ, and all the supervision.”

In fact, HHS students have stepped forward before, requesting that the school board at least contemplates adding the dance. Even with the petitioners, Belin suggested a separate view: instead of adding a third dance to the schedule with attendance concerns, they could incorporate a day on a boat or renting out a trampoline park. The extra suggestions allow for a larger variety and increased creativity throughout the district.

“Teenagers sometimes want to be kids, so why couldn’t we do something like that?” Belin said. “Opposed to a dance, a DJ, dresses, and hair, when Prom is two months down the road.”

Speaking of, cost and funding is another roadblock to approving a winter dance. As previously noted, JHS needed to sell 100 tickets in order for the cost of all miscellaneous people and objects to be worth it. No matter the ticket sales, they used leftover Homecoming money and other Student Council funds to fund the winter formal. 

According to Stout, their Student Council funds through several service projects, notable ones being cookie sales and Adopt-a-Family. While not all funds go towards this addition, Huntley’s Student Council may need to take an even larger step in fundraising. With them already doing a lot for funding, an extra push for a winter formal may be difficult.

While the process of adding a winter formal will be lengthy and difficult, students are still hoping that the dance is in the works at HHS.

“Nothing ever happens in the winter; it’s cold and sad,” HHS junior Jule Van Doran said. “A winter formal would be something to look forward to.”

Student satisfaction may be the most important aspect to creating a great schedule. It may be time for HHS to add a winter formal to the yearly schedule.