Winter formal in review


Chloe Cooper

five juniors enjoying the dance; from left to right: Meghan Robinson, Courtney Davis, Troy Stauffer, Kayla Najera, and Tessa Etergino

On Friday, February 10, 2023, BHS’ first Winter Formal took place from 6:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. in the school cafeteria. The dance had an entrance fee of ten dollars and provided drinks and snacks such as water and chips to attending students. The formal attracted about 350 students and made about two thousand dollars for the school.

“The profit made from the Winter Formal will be used to hold more fun events in the future, like class clash in the spring!” said student body president, Alexis Shafer.

The reintroduction of school dances is due to the members of the student council, specifically Lexi Shafer. It was because of the diligent work of the student council that the Winter Formal was viewed by many as a success. All of the members of the student council worked hard to provide a fun event for the students of this high school.

Students from all grades had the opportunity to attend the Winter Formal. In a poll taken about the formal, almost 70% of people surveyed reported enjoying the dance. Many people also liked having an opportunity to dress up for an event.

A student, Grace Constantelos ‘23 said, “the dance was a lot more fun than I expected considering it was in the cafeteria.”

Although people enjoyed the dance, the majority of students also felt as though the dance should’ve been held in a larger space such as one of the gyms. Another common complaint was that more water should have been provided. These minor conflicts, however, did not affect students’ positive experience with the formal.

“We’ve held dances before, but this is the first Winter Formal since I have been here (eleven years),” said Dr. Neigel.

This was the first time since 2017 that Bernards held a school dance not related to prom. The decrease in school dances was due to low attendance rates. It was reported that the last dance held at the school had an attendance rate of only about thirty to forty people. Due to this statistic, it was not practical to continue providing these events.

Lexi said, “when I was running for student council last spring, a lot of people told me that they wished we had a homecoming dance at Bernards, so when I won, I tried to make that happen.”

Due to scheduling conflicts, however, a homecoming dance didn’t work out; so, the student council came up with the solution of a semi-formal. The Winter Formal had a turnout of a little less than half of the school attending the dance. Nearly 45% of the school (819 students) attended the dance. The increase in students that attended the 2023 formal versus the last dance held at Bernards High is about 89% higher.

“Student council worked super hard to hold this event, and I think it turned out better than we could have hoped for,” said Lexi.

Both Lexi and Dr. Neigel gave statements saying that as long as next year’s student council members want to organize a dance, more events such as the Winter Formal can be expected next school year.