You Don’t Have To Dance

For the entirety of your high school career you are told that participating in as many school activities as humanly possible is what must be done in order to achieve maximum happiness. The most important activities, of course being dances, more specifically Homecoming and Prom.With 50% of the school unable to attend Prom, due to grade level, everyone naturally freaks out about Homecoming.

The madness of the whole situation is a tad ridiculous, I understand wanting to have a good time with your friends and having an excuse to buy a completely new outfit, but the extreme planning and confusing ordeal of finding a group is just too much. Can anyone really explain the reason that everyone must go to these things?

Let’s say that someone simply doesn’t like to be aggressively man-handled on the dance floor surrounded by their peers in a dress they will never wear again, to music that is less than desirable. That person is then considered the odd-man-out and practically ostracized by their “friends” as they mumble their Homecoming schedule with their precious group just outside of listening distance.

Once the individualist has officially declared that they will be absent during the ever-so-popular festivities, they are bombarded with frantic questions:

“Did no one ask you?” “Don’t worry you can tag along with my group.”

“Are you busy that night?”  “Just ask to take off work.”

“Were you out of money for a dress?” ” You can buy one and keep the tags on, everyone does it.”

No. Sometimes, some people simply don’t like dances.

Suddenly, not wanting to attend translates clearly into adolescent ears as, “I am a negative person and am purposely trying to rebel by not going to Homecoming.” Now sometimes the too-cool-for-school act is what some people are trying to achieve, but it is wrong to assume that everyone is a ‘Debbie-downer’ if they don’t enjoy school dances.

And for the matter of having a date for the dance, what is misunderstood about this concept? The purpose of a dance is to have a date. If I were asked by someone who is just a friend why in the world I consider saying yes? I wouldn’t. If we are friends, we can chill like average chums and not have to empty our wallets on a good time. You don’t have to force yourself at the last minute to find someone to go with, I am telling you now, it’s fine to just not go!

For all of the people who love the dances and go to every single one, with or without an actual date, this not to make you feel bad, though it would be a pleasant role reversal, this is just to let those to which that description applies know that it gets rather annoying anytime a dance comes around to automatically assume that everyone should be on the band-wagon with you. Feel free to accept those in their own wagon.

Maybe someday those who commonly don’t like school dances will attend one, but more likely for good reason, not because they feel like an outsider who needs to join the dance floor.