By Karis Rogerson
Asbury’s third annual homecoming dance proved to be a welcome continuation of the dancing tradition begun in 2011.
The dance took place Saturday, Oct. 26 at the Providence School in Wilmore, Ky. It is the third homecoming dance to take place since Asbury changed its policy on dancing and approved school dance functions in 2011. Senior Gwendolyn Cipkowski, who was a sophomore when the rule was changed, said, “My freshman year they didn’t have dancing and Freshman Formal would have been more fun if we had a dance.”
Junior Macaira Furman added that she enjoys dances at Asbury because they are different from other dance functions students might attend. “You’re not just going to a gross, sweaty dance,” she said. “You’re going to a dance with people who are your closest friends and just having a great time.” Senior Shannon Baker echoed that statement by commenting that Asbury students always know their dances will be free of uncomfortable provocative dancing.
Kelsey Adams, another junior, enjoys the dances, and said, “Because they are a fun way to spend time with people…I think dances are a fun way for our campus community to come together for a few hours and cut loose.”
Sam Mattox, a sophomore who transferred to Asbury this semester, said, “I think it is great that the Asbury faculty trusts us students enough to allow us to have a homecoming dance.”
Each homecoming dance has a theme that determines the atmosphere at the event as well as the costumes that students can wear. For the past two years, the theme has revolved around previous decades; this year, however, the theme was “Big Top.”
Cutler Brice, representative for the Special Events Committee (SEC) said that the committee who organized the dance “knew [they] wanted something different than a decade theme.”
While many students enjoyed the circus theme, there were some who were bigger fans of the decade dances. Baker said that, although she thought this year’s dance was a success, she “really enjoyed the dance from two years ago when each class dressed from the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s or ‘90s. The progression of musical hits in each era throughout the night that ended in contemporary songs was a really awesome concept.”
Emily Hudson, one of the co-chairs for the SEC, said she was most impressed by the turnout from the student body, especially considering the drastic change in themes and the potential difficulty it could create in costumes.
“I was so pleasantly surprised by how many people had amazing costumes,” Hudson said. “In my opinion, that is what made the dance so fantastic. So, bravo, my fellow Asburians. Your thrift shopping skills exceeded my expectations.”
According to Brice, 289 students either brought their tickets with them or bought them at the door, and he estimates that about 25 others entered having forgotten tickets. These numbers, including the appoximately 40 student volunteers makes a total of about 354 dance attendees.
Of these, the majority of students–105–were freshmen, while only 49 juniors attended.
Many students agreed that the dance was a fun event. “There really isn’t anything I would change [in the future],” Cipkowski said. “It was put on really well and I loved the games.”
Furman mentioned that her favorite aspect of the dance was the dance-off between the different classes. She said, “It didn’t seem like the classes were fighting against each other, although everybody wanted their class to win.”
Furman is a member of the Unshakable class of 2015, who lost the competition. Nonetheless, she said, “Class bonding is way more important than bragging rights,” and added that she loved how the whole school cheered for each dance, regardless of which class was dancing.
Mattox said the dance was a good experience. “It had a safe atmosphere around it,” he said. “I knew I didn’t have to worry about seeing inappropriate dancing.” However, he added that he was not a fan of a few of the songs that were chosen. “A couple of the songs the DJ played I felt were inappropriate,” he said. “Whether they were edited or not, I feel some songs just shouldn’t be played at Asbury events.”
Hudson admitted that there were a few unavoidable mishaps during the night, but they did not diminish the success of the event. “Twice during the night the power went out,” she explained. “However, our wonderful hosts Paula and Gabe led the crowd in an a cappella rendition of Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believing.’ And that was honestly one of the highlights of the night.”
Sophomore Ellen Packer said she mostly enjoyed the dance because she feels “freer at Asbury dances. Like I can have fun with people who don’t feel the need to impress anyone or do anything to have fun.”
Freshman Alli Acuff, who was originally wary of the dance, said that in the end she enjoyed it more than any other dance she had attended. “There wasn’t an atmosphere of comparison and everyone carried themselves in a genuinely classy and God-honoring manner,” she said.