Should schools end formal dances

The question was raised in another thread - Should schools end the practice of having those proms and Jr high dances where the students stand and stare awkwardly at each other from across the gymnasium floor.

I say ‘no they should not be banned’ since as weird and awkward as they are, they still provide some valuable life experiences and all in all, are pretty fun.

I’ll repeat what I said in that thread:

To expand:
Keep dances, sure, but encourage girls and guys to go stag–sell tickets in singles. suggest that groups of friends get pictures taken, not just couples, and have things to do besides slow dance.

I don’t think they should end formal dances, but what I would like to see and it will never happen, is to have a mandatory etiquette and dance classes a few weeks before the big dance.

Boys could learn with boys. Girls with girls. It would be a laugh riot and then after they learn the basic waltz and polka, could move on to bustin’ a move with Aaron ( or whatever that guy is who choreographed N’sync’s moves.) Songs that are danceable - not a Grand Mal Seizure Dance Move- can be found that won’t make the teenagers go " oh crap this just sucks."

The reason I say this is that at weddings, there is nothing more pathetic at weddings than the bride and groom who pay great gobs of money for this day, and they stand out there on the dance floor clutching each other like it is the first time on ice skates for both of them.

Dancing is fun. Dancing is a great way to meet people. If you are a guy and can dance, you will always be a chick magnet. Anyone who says that guys who can dance are queer, kindly submit to Mr. Ujest for a beating. He is a fantastic dancer.
Sorry, off the major point. But, no I don’t think they should be ended. What I lacked in balls in the classroom, I made up for being able to dance and ask a guy to dance with me. Darkness is a big help for courage. If you think about it, everyone thinks you should be a part of a couple and if you are not then there is something seriously wrong with you. It’s pathetic, but that is how we are programmed now and what keeps talk shows on the air. Until we learn to be happy with our selves, we can never be happy with anyone else…etc.

As I said in the other thread, I’d be happy to see an end to all official school-sponsored dances in middle and high schools. Juding from my personal experience and what I hear from other students at my college, they are all pretty dire.

I spent most of my high school years at an alternative school, and we did not have a prom or any official school dances. The only way we had dances was if the student body wanted one and the student government was willing and able to arrange it themselves. This meant that things like location, decorations, food, and music were all selected (and paid for!) by students. We had a spring dance three out of my four high school years, and while they were nowhere near as flashy or formal as those at other schools they were far more enjoyable and far less awkward. They also had none of the bizarre and unhealthy social and financial pressures (gotta get a date, gotta get an expensive dress, gotta rent a limo) associated with official school dances, although this may have been due as much to the makeup of our student body as to the organization behind the dance.

I would be really, really happy to see the prom court tradition dropped altogether. We didn’t have anything like that at my high school, but what I’ve heard from others sounds pretty awful. Who on earth ever thought it was a good idea to have high school students compete against one another in a literal popularity contest? As if the unofficial popularity contest of daily high school life wasn’t enough!

Even though some people don’t like proms, they aren’t forced at gunpoint to go at them. Many people have great experiences at them. Some meet future mates, some lose their virginity. Al met Tipper at a post-prom party. I had a great time at mine, and if somebody who didn’t like people having fun together cancelled it I’d have missed out on a great experience. Just because a few people don’t like them doesn’t mean that they should be cancelled altogether.

Well, that would have been pure hell.
As one of the ugly girls who didn’t go to dances because of the aforementioned over-emphasis on couplehood, being required to take classes in preparation for the event would have simply been adding insult to injury.

Still, no, I don’t think they should be banned. The short forays into formality are a generally good thing. The dances are usually tied with celebration of finishing the year, or finishing highschool altogether, and that’s also a good reason for having a dance. I generally agree with Manda Jo that what needs to happen is that schools should do what they can to make “being in a couple” less of a spoken or unspoken requirement of attending the dances.

It’s not a question of not understanding them.

As others have said, it’s the pressure of having to be part of a couple to attend.

I think they provide an interesting entree into the world of formal events and entertaining and party planning. I used to think it was pathetic to see teenagers take it so seriously, but then I realized that it’s good for them to practice doing adult things and to experience a different level of dress/etiquette/entertainment. However, I agree that the emphasis on couplehood is obnoxious and potentially alienating. They need to take out the “romance” aspect and add more fun activities, including things that don’t require a date to enjoy.