By: Sara Wolf
Students of BHS had the opportunity to attend a dance other than prom or homecoming this year, for the first time in 5 years. JROTC held Winter Formal on Saturday, February 4 in the school’s auxiliary gym. Students came in and danced from 7 to 10 with the usual wristbands, but also the unusual new occurrence of Mrs. Schwieterman as DJ and pizza being served. Like any school event, students left with every positive, negative, bored or amazed opinion under the sun, but the dance was able to raise much needed funds for JROTC and met all goals and expectations according to those who put it together.
Senior Chloe Merkle took on the responsibility of putting the girls-ask-boys dance together after the idea of the dance was thrown around by seniors last year. With help from others in JROTC such as Kate Broderick, Nico Taylor, Sarah Rovinsky and Ivy Bennett, the rumored dance became a reality. Work for the event began six months ago when the school year started. A date with minimal conflicts had to be set and approval for every detail of the dance needed to be in place. Merkle recalls organizing details of the dance being the most frustrating and difficult part at times. “I didn’t expect for all the changes that Sargent and Mr. Baker made when the dance started getting close,” she explained. “It was just more things we had to think about.” Merkle and others worked over the months to set plans for the DJ, photographer, food situation and pricing. While working everything out, they hoped for 200 students to attend the dance, and saw over 450 students attend on the night of the dance. “I definitely didn’t expect winter formal to be so great, so exciting,” said Merkle. “Even though it was a pain in the butt occasionally, I would definitely do it again.” JROTC plans to hold a school-wide dance again next year.
Students who attended responded in many different ways. Freshman Addie Hahn said that she had fun but would have liked more winter-themed decorations. Freshman Kayla Stephensen liked it more than homecoming because song requests were actually played, but like many other students she said too many slow songs were played. Freshman Kayla Paul suggested that snacks should be served instead of all of the pizza, since many people ate dinner before the dance. “Worst dance by far,” responded an anonymous sophomore to a survey on the dance. “I think it was poorly put on, too much light, weird music, just overall bad dance,” they wrote. Emma Young, another sophomore, had a more positive experience. She said her favorite moment was “when Cotton-Eyed Joe played, everyone started swinging each other around on one arm and country-dancing; a perfect representation of Bellbrook.” Junior Keion Driscoll and Senior Kira Barklay both said they appreciated another opportunity to attend a school dance. “It was nice to have another dance since I was sick and unable to go to homecoming,” said Barklay. “I thought it was well put together and that the music was better than prom last year,” she added. Senior Jessica Hyatt agreed that the dance was more fun than past dances. When asked what he thought about the dance, what he would have changed, and what his favorite moment was, Senior Nathan Cordonnier said, “I liked the pizza, more pizza,” and, “There was so much pizza, I took four boxes home.”