The Student News Site of Hudson High School

The Explorer

The Student News Site of Hudson High School

The Explorer

The Student News Site of Hudson High School

The Explorer

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Winter Formal survey results reveal clash between student and administrator views

Hudson+students+jump+to+the+music+with+their+foam+glow+sticks+at+the+2023+Winter+Formal+Dance.
Ava Tallat-Kelpsa
Hudson students jump to the music with their foam glow sticks at the 2023 Winter Formal Dance.

It’s been a month and a half since Journalism and Yearbook hosted the school’s Winter Formal. After the event, a survey was distributed to students to learn their overall opinion of the dance. To many of the organizers’ surprise, there appeared to be an overwhelming number of negative responses.

The survey, which had been public for a month and just closed this week, received responses from 90 students out of the 623 students in attendance. 

The aspect of the dance most students didn’t enjoy was the music. Drop the Beat Productions (HHS’s designated DJ company) was booked for the second dance of the school year after their appearance at Homecoming. There were multiple criticisms of the music played, especially because of certain requested songs not being played.

Junior Alexis Feisthamel shared, “The music was mid. They didn’t play a lot of popular songs that are popular with our generation like rap or anything.”

Many responses were similar to Feisthamel, claiming things such as the music only being okay and not what the students wanted to hear. 

Even if the music was not everyone’s favorite, the DJ is not allowed to play the majority of popular songs because they are seen as inappropriate for high schoolers. 

Another dislike of the dance was the stronger enforcement of school dance rules. Ever since incidents in 2021 with dance circles or “moshes,” HHS has not allowed either to occur during dances. Although the DJ at previous dances has always threatened to stop the music if dance circles were formed, this was the first dance when the administration enforced this. Whenever students would spread into a wide circle, the music would stop and lights would cut off, which most students blamed the DJ for.

Sophomore Natalie Bright shared, “It doesn’t make any sense why the music was stopped every time a dance circle was made, which is the entire point of a school dance.” Sophomore Lauren Brownley added, “I think they should have let us mosh. It is one of the best parts of the dance and when they shut down the dance circle it killed the mood.”

Despite some negative feedback on the dancing aspect, students still found the dance redeemable because of the decorations and snacks provided. 

Journalism and Yearbook students had prepared decorations for weeks in advance and set them up the morning of the dance. According to the survey, more than 80% of the respondents liked the decorations and thought they accurately represented the Winter Wonderland theme. When students were asked what they liked about the dance, the top answer was the decorations, with some mentioning specifics such as the white drapes with lights in them and the wintry centerpieces on tables.

Regarding the food, about 61% of students had tried at least one of the food options, and many had a favorable opinion on it. Most school dances at Hudson only offer trays of various cookie flavors, but at Winter Formal, donuts from George’s Donuts were also provided. Many pointed this out and said the addition enhanced their experience. 

Stefanie Crecelius, the advisor for Yearbook and Journalism was surprised by the overall results of the survey, and hopes to adjust the dance the next time they host to be as accommodating to students and administration as possible.

“It’s tough because many popular songs are not things that can be played in a public school environment. Our DJ made every effort he could to adhere to rules put in place by administrators and also make the students happy. He came in to speak with Yearbook students about the dance and even offered an app for students to vote on songs they would like to hear. Unfortunately, many of those songs were not able to be played because of the lyrics.”

Crecelius did receive positive feedback on many other aspects of the dance. “The decorations were amazing this year – from the sparkle-light entranceway, to the collection of holiday trees and the updated lights in the gym were all highlights of the dance for many students.”

It will be interesting to see what Journalism and Yearbook change during the next Winter Formal and how the student body’s response to the 2023 Winter Formal will impact all future school dances.

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About the Contributor
Ava Tallat-Kelpsa, Editor-in-Chief
Ava Tallat-Kelpsa is a senior in her fourth and final year of writing for The Explorer. As well as the newspaper, she’s involved with the Model United Nations team, Writing Club, Chamber Choir, Summit Choral Society, teaching PSR and interning at Destination Hudson. In her limited free time, she enjoys traveling, reading A Series of Unfortunate Events and buying more than necessary at garage sales. After high school, Ava plans to pursue journalism and creative writing at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.
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