Last May, Leadership’s decision to cancel the end-of-year hoedown sparked a buzz within the Aragon community. According to Leadership, lack of interest and low ticket sales led to the unanimous decision to cancel the dance.
Junior and ASB co-Treasurer Catherine van Blommestein says, “At the end-of-the-year dance last year we sold about 50 tickets not including leadership students. Since we only sold 50 tickets, and we did not know how many seniors were coming for the end of the year Spirit Award [which gave them free admission to the dance], the decision was made to cancel.”
Perhaps the change in theme or the lack of publicity caused the low ticket sales during last year’s hoedown dance. But what makes students want to come to dances? This year, the venue for Winter Formal was changed from the Marriot Hotel to the Fox Theatre. Although ticket sales were not as high as expected, the venue was received positively by those in attendance.
Sophomore Jared Mayerson says, “Any new venue would make me want to go because it makes the dance from this year different from the last, and also it’s a new, cool place to see.”
Van Blommestein says, “We changed the formal venue to the Fox Theatre to mix it up. We may change the Homecoming venue for next year as well.”
According to van Blommestein, Homecoming traditionally sells more tickets than Winter Formal does, although each dance sells an average of about 500 tickets per dance.
Junior Gilliana Lau, a member of Leadership’s dance commission, which plans and promotes school dances, says, “It’s all about the hype. With a big announcement and a spirit week before the dance, it gets people really excited to attend … We always want to see a high attendance at every dance, so publicizing is key.”
Van Blommestein adds, “The best way to increase ticket sales is advertising, especially by word of mouth. We are always open to suggestions, so we encourage students to reach out to Leadership.”
“It seemed like there was more hype about Homecoming just because there’s football and everybody was set on going,” says freshman Julianna Glafkides. “The novelty [had] kind of worn off by [the] time it got to be Formal, so less people wanted to go.”
Junior Lexi Oliva says, “I think people get a lot more excited about Homecoming and Prom because they’re the newest dances. Homecoming is the first dance of the year and everybody, especially freshman, is really excited to go. Then, juniors and seniors like Prom because, well, it’s Prom. Only upperclassmen get to go, which is cool because you feel kind of special. Also, people have been raising money for Prom since freshman year, so I feel like it would be a waste to give money and not go.”
Yet even with “pre-dance hype” and venue locations, it seems that a change in music would be more enticing to others.
Freshman Henry McNamara says, “I’m just not interested in dancing at this point and time. I personally am not a fan of electro music that can be commonly found at dances and other social events. Perhaps this could change. Something more along the lines of acoustic instrumental music would be nice.”
Oliva says, “I think a change in venue would be nice, but also a good DJ. They played a lot of the same songs at Formal and it got kind of boring. We don’t just want to hear the Top 40. They should play a variety of different songs and genres.”
Perhaps having the same venue and DJ every year provides convenient, easy-to-plan dances. However, it seems the key to raising ticket sales is switching things up, changing certain aspects to make each dance different from previous ones. As it is said, change is good.