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Davis, California

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Column: Dances suck

This past weekend I returned to my hometown to take part in the festivities that lead up to one of the most anticipated nights of high school captivity: senior ball.

No, I was not some innocent young 18-year-old boy’s date. I was used in other ways: for my hair and makeup skills. And while I’m usually compensated with smiles, hugs and kind words, this year my sister decided to reward me with sass, complaining and boredom.

I spent seven hours that day pinning pins, spraying hairspray, applying fake eyelashes and taking over the role of mom: submitting to every wish of the 18-year-old princess, following her around to take her picture and squatting with the rest of the suburban soccer moms in the backyard of an eight million dollar mansion to get the perfect shot of the couples.

Yeah, sure, the people actually attending the dance technically had to endure similar situations, but did I get chocolate covered strawberries and get to dance on the patio of The Metreon in San Francisco?

Even though this was the second year in a row where I’ve returned home to help out my sister in preparation for big events, it hit me that this year would be my last. And while I was briefly reminiscing about my captivity in high school, I came to a conclusion that I’ve come to multiple times over the years: I hate organized dances.

Fun fact about my high school: a year or two before I began my reign on that campus, it was on the national news. Not for anything awesome, but for being the “horniest school in America.” That title was bestowed upon my school after angry parents lashed out at administration for not banning grinding and sexual dance moves at school dances.

Not that any of this bothered me. I gained press passes to all of the dances, providing me hours of entertainment watching my classmates get pregnant on the dance floor, embarrass themselves as I flashed my $3,000 camera at them and realizing how I never want to move my body.

Of course, being the giver that I am, I approached specific groups at group photos and taught them my secrets: stay on the outer circle of the mob for easy exit, eat as much as you can (you paid $150 for a ticket) and have no expectations.

If you’re going to spend that much on a night of entertainment, you shouldn’t have to create it yourself. Am I right? I’m right. I could pay that much to treat myself to a Broadway show ticket in S.F. and watch actually talented people instead of scream my way through crowds of grinding teenagers.

Now, I’m not saying that these dances completely suck. You get some things out of them: new profile pictures, tons of likes on Facebook (if you’re remotely popular) and the ability to say you experienced something as a high-school student that you honestly can achieve at a dance club in Las Vegas a couple of years later.

My senior class did a respectable job for my senior ball. We had professional ballroom dancers perform, caricature artists, buffets on every one of the 8+ floors we had access to and a large dance floor for those planning on starting a family.

I guess I’ll just leave it at this. I have mixed feelings about organized dances, but I lean towards hating them. Because that’s what I do best: hate things.

Tell ELIZABETH ORPINA at arts@theaggie.org how expensive your prom dress was and why she should feel bad about herself for not wanting to grind on her respectful date and instead did the Hoedown Throwdown to every song instead.

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