A group of freshman girls journeyed to the Rockingham Mall last December to look for semi-formal attire for the Holly Ball dance. They tried on multiple outfits and presented their selections to each other until they found clothing that fit each others’ approval. After purchasing their favorite sparkly dress, and pairs of high heeled shoes, they couldn’t wait for the following Friday night. The next day the voice over the intercom said that the Holly Ball dance had been cancelled due to the small number of people who bought tickets. The devastated girls all worried about what to do with their newly purchased dresses now that the dance had been cancelled. They said they would wear them to the next dance, but that next dance never happened…until now.

Senior Board member Max Galat sells tickets for the Holly Ball during lunch.
Senior Board member Max Galat sells tickets for the Holly Ball during lunch.

Don’t fret; the 2013 Holly Ball dance is on! After much concern from teachers and students regarding the number of students who would purchase tickets for the dance, Mr. Abbott, Freshmen Board advisor, announced that the dance will be happening. With over 200 tickets sold and counting, the school is above breaking even, a concept that they are not used to after last year’s disappointments.

Mr. Hutchins, Senior Board advisor, plans to get students to come to the dance by word of mouth and slight changes from past years, including adding an ice cream bar and a DJ from Boston’s own Kiss 108. “One of the things that kept coming up in the Senior Board applications was that the seniors [and other students] wanted more dances so we are trying to kick off the first dance of the year,” said Hutchins.

So the question here is, will the seniors stay true to their wish of wanting more dances? Or will the breathalyzers that will be used on each student as they walk in and other restrictions on appropriate dancing stop them from coming?

Rachel Manjoney, senior, said, “I don’t think the Holly Ball really appeals to the seniors because all the rules have been changed in the past couple of years. Nobody has really gone to the dances in a while.”

Manjoney also mentioned that many students are going to the first basketball game, scheduled for the same night as the dance, Friday, December 13. Hutchins and the other advisors have decided that the students who go to the basketball game can attend the dance afterwards but they must buy a ticket beforehand.

“We are being a little bit flexible with the dress code,” Hutchins said. “The students who go to the basketball game can come to the dance after in jeans as long as they are not ripped jeans.”

With accommodations made for the upperclassmen and members of the Jungle, will this encourage underclassmen to attend as well?

Most students assume that underclassmen, especially freshmen, will automatically attend the Holly Ball because they are usually excited and curious to see what a high school dance is like, and because they get to dress up. But, unfortunately, this isn’t the case for all of them.

Ashlie Dykeman, freshman, is not planning on attending the dance because she has heard that they are “really bad” and “lame.”

“I heard that you get breathalyzed going into the dance,” Dykeman said, “and I’d rather not have that happen, not that I drink, but I would feel awkward doing that.”

Leigh Burte, a Sophomore Board member, is excited to go to this year’s Holly Ball because she hasn’t had the opportunity to go to one before because of last years’ cancellation. “Every board member is expected to buy a ticket and go to the dance to support the school,” Burte said, “but I would go anyway if my friends were going.”

Seniors like Sean Carroll hope to encourage not only underclassmen but also upperclassmen to go to the dance.  As a member of the Senior Board, he has made announcements and persuaded other seniors to attend. Carroll recalls that the Holly Ball was a success when he was a freshman because the seniors supported it, which encouraged and got the rest of the students excited to attend as well.

Carroll’s request to the senior class: “Come support the community and our school.”

By Devon Heavey and Alexa Rockwell