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Winter Formal plans melt away

by Niru Shivakumar and Gilina Voon Feb. 14, 2024

The soft glow of fairy lights bathe the gym in a magical, wintry ambiance. The walls come alive with projected snowflakes, and scattered fake snow adds an enchanting touch the the floor. Lined with Christmas trees and white, gold and blue decorations, a winter wonderland unfurls within the gym.

At least, that was the vision. Other schools have been hosting Winter Formals for years, and this year, the school hoped to host its first-ever Winter Formal on Jan. 29 in response to a high demand from the student body. Yet despite the hard work put into making this event happen, ASB canceled the Winter Formal on Jan. 23. 

Junior Bella Chobanian, ASB Commissioner, began brainstorming for the Winter Formal last year, started official planning alongside co-chairs Sophomore Hana Shah and Senior Jeyda Sloneker three months before the event.

“We hoped to host a Winter Formal at the school because we wanted a dance other than Homecoming to be available for all grades, fulfilling the demands of some underclassmen who had requested a winter dance. Other schools like Branham High School host annual Winter Formals, so we thought it would be an exciting event for us to try as well,” Sloneker said.

Due to the success of past events, ASB was given a budget of $6,000 for the dance. While planning, they prioritized cultivating a wintery feel and hiring a good Dj. Furthermore, they wanted to offer students activities not typically available at Homecoming or other school dances; for those not interested in dancing, a photo booth, golf simulator and inflatable basketball game would be available for students to enjoy. To accompany the wintery spirit, free hot cocoa would be offered to students.

From Jan. 8 to Jan. 26, ASB sold tickets at the bank. Prices varied depending on who was attending: students with ASB paid $20, students without ASB paid $25 and guests had to pay $30. However, many students did not buy tickets to the dance.

“I attended homecoming, but I did not buy a Winter Formal ticket because the Winter Formal was in the gym, which was strange as it is not the usual dance location. additionally, most of my friends were not attending Winter Formal,” Junior Charlotte Lewis said. 

Although some students were looking forward to the dance, according to ASB teacher Meg Walsh, the ticket sales projection would not meet the 350 tickets— required amount that needed to be sold to break even. 

Yunseo Kim Art

Various factors played into the insufficient ticket sales. ASB decided to schedule the dance on a Friday night instead of a Saturday to accommodate for the lack of available staff for Saturday and ensure adequate supervision from the admin. However, many students had conflicts on Friday. Additionally, choosing the gym as the dance floor over the cafeteria further limited available time spaces as there are many sports in session. Furthermore, according to Walsh, students had talked amongst themselves and began circulating rumors that pitted their friends against the dance. “I was excited to go to the Winter Formal as I thought it would be fun to attend a new dance. I was disappointed it was canceled, but not surprised since so few students had bought tickets,” Senior Marvin Steinert said.

Walsh mentioned that ASB strives to put on exceptional events and hopes this cancellation does not damage other events’ reputations. In fact, ASB gained helpful feedback that can be applied to future events: students did not want the dance to take place in the gym and preferred Saturday dances due to scheduling conflicts. While ASB was unable to execute the Winter Formal this year, they are determined to try again next year. ASB will continue to host several events in the future, taking lessons from the Winter Formal’s failure into account in order to ensure that students will be able to attend and have fun.


About the Contributors

Niru Shivakumar

staff writer

Niru Shivakumar is a junior at Leland High School and is a staff writer for The Charger Account. During her free time, she enjoys playing sports, hanging out with her friends, and listening to music.

Gilina Voon

staff writer

Gilina Voon is a senior at Leland High School and is a writer and photographer for The Charger Account. During her free time, she enjoys traveling, hanging out with friends, and running.

Yunseo Kim


Yunseo Kim is a sophmore at Leland High School and is an Artist for The Charger Account. In her free time, she loves to snuggle with her cat and eat snacks.

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