Homecoming dance improved

The Big Electronic Dance (B.E.D.), held on Oct. 27 in the Paly small gym, was an improvement from past homecoming dances, but changes are still necessary in order to continue refining this annual Paly dance.

This year the dance theme was Electronic Dance Music, which was an improvement from last year’s white-out theme. Many students thought that having a new theme was a great way to encourage people to attend.

“I think this was probably the most successful dance that Paly has had in many years, even though it still wasn’t great,” junior Shiri Arnon said. “But people actually wanted to go, so it was good.”

One reason for the success of this homecoming dance was that it was well advertised by the Associative Student Body (ASB) Social Commissioners Bria Vicenti and Lorraine Chen. When the theme was announced, Vicenti posted a video on Facebook that encouraged students to go to the dance. As a result, the attendance increased from the 430 people that attended last year’s homecoming dance to over 530 people who attended this year.

“We brought something new to the table, and we got a lot more interest and enthusiasm for the dance,” Vicenti said. “The theme brought a lot of people, and while I feel Paly dances still have a negative stigma to them, B.E.D. was a huge step in breaking that.”

Another reason for the increased attendance was that the homecoming dance was free, so more students showed up.

“I think having this free dance really helped because it got people to come and see how we’re changing it up,” freshman class president Owen Dulik said. “And now I think people will want to come and see how we’re doing in the future.”

Also, this year ASB made a huge effort to change the setup from how it was in the past. Before B.E.D., homecoming dances had little decorations or lighting effects.

“Previous homecoming dances were barely decorated and attendance was poor,” Chen said.

However, for B.E.D., ASB ordered more lighting equipment and technicians from SOS Entertainment, the company that Paly uses to plan dances. Many students appreciated the change in setup of homecoming, and they enjoyed dancing under the new lighting effects.

“I think [homecoming] was a lot better,” junior Lauren Kerr said. “The atmosphere was really cool and I really liked the decorations.”

Although B.E.D. was a major improvement from previous dances, many people did not like the music because it was very electronic. As a result, a large amount of people came to the dance for only a short period of time.

“It was an improvement from last year because there were more people who came,” junior Becca Althoff said. “But I thought since there was only one kind of music, a lot of people left really quickly.”

Chen, who has received several complaints of ‘bad music,’ believes that in the future, ASB will focus on choosing a better playlist. One way to address this issue is to make a music playlist based on song requests from the students.

“So far I’ve heard some negative comments on the music, both at Back to School Dance and homecoming,” Chen said. “We will be more careful on how DJs are selected and make sure the songs requested from students are played.”

Although there were some issues with the music, overall ASB has done a great job planning the homecoming dance this year. If ASB makes different themes every dance and accommodates the students’ song choices, Paly dance attendance will continue to improve and dances will be more successful.

“We’re going to keep coming up with bigger and better ideas to draw in interest,” Vicenti said. “[We will] make sure we have great music and decorations to make people want to stay.”

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