The Top Ten Things You Missed at the School Dance

Spencer Garrison, Author, Researcher

The School Dance


  Mr. Arujo stalks down a dark, vacated, hallway of Gibbons Middle School, his footsteps reverberating off of the walls of the usually packed hallways. Each click of his heel sends echoes pinging down the whole eighth grade hallway, he snugs his cream-colored blazer around him a little tighter. Down the hall, Mrs. Gerstenzang is adding the finishing touches to a small corner of the cafeteria. She’s been waiting four hours for this moment, she won’t let anything ruin it. In the office, Mr. Foley and Mrs. Stewart make nervous chatter. He’s a veteran, but this is only her second time, will she make it? The parent’s are more afraid, they’re volunteers, and they’ve been spending the better part of an hour milling anxiously around their stations making sure that everything is perfect. A highschooler glances at the clock in the gym, 6:49, he gulps as he thinks, almost time. He cracks a joke with his compatriots and they check one more time to make sure that the sound system is alright. It’s going to be tough to make it all work out, everyone has been preparing for this moment. The April School Dance.


History of the Dance


The Gibbons school dance is an honored and beloved annual, sometimes biannual, sometimes triannual occasion, celebrated by all, or, most. According to Yellow Team English teacher, Mrs. Nottingham, the dance is a tradition that has been going on for as long as she can remember. It is unequivocally, truly, indisputably one of the things that brings this school together the most and shall continue to be so for the foreseeable future. For those non-dance goers, it’s an event which is held in the gym, typically from 7:00pm – 9:00pm. Although supervised by volunteer Gibbons staff and parents, the dance usually ends up looking like an underground nightclub by the time students show up. Sparse decorations and perplexing antiquities make the dance feel very… Gibbons. Refreshments, naturally, are available for a price. And for those unwilling to bask in the wildness of the gym, there is always the courtyard for quiet conversations and romance, how exciting! But, enough about how the dance works, here are ten things you missed at the school dance.


Things you missed



Hawaii? That’s right, Hawaii! The theme of this year’s school dance was the land of volcanoes, Hawaii. We saw student’s showing up in various tropical vestments. Hawaiian shirts, bermuda shorts, flip-flops, and to the overachievers out there, leis and sunglasses. 

Here’s this dance’s winner for best dressed, one of our own, Alexis Leduc:

Polaroid Booth

This year’s dance included a feature not yet fathomed in the halls of Gibbons, a photo booth, headed by the auspicious Mrs. Gerstenzang. If you, a friend, you and a friend, or maybe even you and a lover wanted to get your picture taken in true 90s fashion, you could have went over to Mrs. G’s modest booth in the corner of the cafeteria and taken a snapshot.


Light Show

Has your life been missing a little luminescence? Have you found yourself wishing your life was a bit brighter? Perhaps more green, blue, and strobing? Then you should have come to the dance! Along with the usual musical entertainment, this dance has a rotating ball of color, painting the dark corner of the gym with swarming multi-colored lights.


Tripping Hazard

It wouldn’t be a Gibbons event without a little dash of crime. There was a rough spot in the proceedings of the dance when someone, we will not specify, threw water into the middle of the pit to try and trip the revelers. The highschool-DJs stopped the music and forced everyone to spread out. Then, unexpectedly, Mr. Foley himself cut through the turmoil, parting the students around him as he began to single handedly clean the spill. There was much cheering when the music started again, but not before the highschoolers could espouse some wisdom on our composure.



Oh, tinnitus, the joy of any school-dance-goer. There is nothing us students at Gibbons love more than the feeling of our ears ringing and our hearing fading away. Many have theorized that the music at this year’s school dance was extra loud, how fun! We at the Gazette actually conducted a few tests. 

We found that the noise was audible from:

  1. The gym bathroom
  2. The courtyard
  3. Inside the pit
  4. On the field outside the school (seriously)

Another fun fact: Some of the songs were so bassy that the floors shook.


The Music

Who could forget the star of the school-dance: the music! (and maybe Namish.) The highschool DJs were not slacking this year, there were some A-List songs at the school dance. Of course there was the usual, California Girls, You Belong With Me, and obviously, Sweet Caroline. But there were a couple songs that came as a surprise this dance. Jarring was the sound of Ice Spice creeping its way onto the speakers, many dancers were shocked to hear her voice, many dancers were shocked that they could no longer hear. Another galvanizing crowd shaker was the sound of Travis Scott’s Sicko Mode. This is the last song you’d expect to hear at the school dance!


Mo Bamba

Anyone who went to the dance this year can recall their shock when they heard the first lilting notes of Sheck Wes’s Mo Bamba. The bass shook the wooden floors and many people’s bones, and when Sheck’s voice cut into the track, everyone who knew the lyrics began to sing along. This, of course, is where the problem started, and Mo Bamba was soon cut off. A true Gibbons tragedy.


Crowd Surfing

Perhaps the most beloved and honored tradition in all of Sarah W. Gibbons middle school, crowd-surfing returned to this April’s dance to the reverent delight of everyone. As the ancient rites dictate, the beloved student, Namish, was lifted over everyone’s head and passed around for a couple seconds. You could not miss him, his white crocs shone gallantly and revealed him to everyone like a star in the night-sky.


Medical Emergency

This dance wasn’t all fun and games, no Gibbons activity is complete without a little touch of tragedy, and tragedy struck indeed! Two seventh-graders were so fatigued from the festivities that they fainted. Student Jae Didenko retells the tale, a young girl had fainted in front of the gym and was on the floor. Her friend was in hysterics, being calmed by the matronly Mrs. Paquin, the scene was electrifying and jarring.


Sweet Caroline

One last thing, as with every school dance, this year’s ended with a stunning rendition of Sweet Caroline. If you didn’t come to the dance, or missed this part, I am truly sorry. You lost your chance to blow your lungs out and trample each other.