The parent representatives for MIHS’s class of 2015, charged with producing this weekend’s Homecoming Dance, were stunned to learn that last year some 850 tickets were sold, but only 200 students actually stayed at the dance.
So, parent representatives Lisa Katsman and Vicki Pallis hatched a plan to “take back” the dance.
The recent trend has been for large groups of friends to gather at one house before the dance, so parents can snap photos of the couples and groups. The students then hop into parent-driven cars or “party busses” and head off to dinner – usually something quick and reasonably priced. From there, they dash to the high school dance, where they use their tickets for professional photo shoots, and then they rush off to another house for an “after party,” which might last until 1 am.
“It just seems so insulting and disrespectful of the kids – and parents – who work so hard to put on the dance, when the kids don’t even stay,” says Katsman.
“Plus, it’s such a waste for the kids to not even attend, after spending so much money on their outfits, transportation and dinner,” Katsman continues. “Most girls spend $300-$500 on their dresses, shoes, hair, makeup and nails, and the guys probably spend at least $200 on dance tickets, shirts and ties, corsages, dinner and transportation – and that doesn’t include the cost of a suit.”
This year, Katsman and Pallis hope to “change the culture” and encourage students to stay at the dance for a few hours.
In additional to the usual giveaways (leis and glow-in-the-dark necklaces, this year) and DJ-controlled dance music, the duo plans to offer Hawaiian shaved ice and an air-guitar contest this year.
However, the biggest change – and enticement for students – is a series of door prizes, which will increase in value throughout the evening, Katsman explains.
So far, parents have donated a slew of gifts cards for local establishments including gas stations, coffee shops, sports stores and spas. One group of parents is trying to raise $1,000 for the final prize, which will be announced at 10:30 pm.