On March 2, Girls’ Letter Club held the Turnabout Dance and sold 706 tickets, but failed to break even by about 400 tickets says Kim Kiraly, Girls’ Letter Club, sponsor.
Turnabout is the all-school spring dance where girls traditionally ask their dates, and this year’s theme was Beach Party.
Kiraly believes that the turn out is not low enough to completely cancel the dance for next year because she sees value in giving freshmen and sophomores the opportunity to have a second school dance because they cannot attend Prom. She thinks that a contributing factor to Turnabout’s lower attendance is the timing of the dance.
“Turnabout is a very isolated, one-night event that’s kind of nestled in between a bunch of other big school things like all of the spring sports are starting and the variety show just ended,” Kiraly said. “It’s kind of something that’s often an afterthought and people tend to scramble to get that event pulled together, whereas Homecoming has so much build-up.”
One thing that sophomore Katie Durow says she likes is Turnabout’s use of photo booths, and there were two this year, according to Kiraly. Durow believes that Turnabout is less popular than Homecoming due to the lack of funding and it not having lead up events to create excitement.
“The dance is less funded than Homecoming and also there isn’t something leading up to it like the football game and parade, so there isn’t as much hype,” Durow said.
Freshman Alex Yunda-Raijer did not go to Turnabout this year, expecting the dance to be dull due to the little excitement built up prior to the dance. He also believes that Turnabout is more centered around having a date compared to Homecoming, and therefore limits the pool of people that attend.
“Homecoming is more about just going out with your friends and there isn’t much talk about having a date or not,” Yunda-Raijer said. “It’s okay if you are alone at Homecoming because you can meet new people and you can have a group. But for Turnabout, it’s all about the girl asking the guy, so it’s kind of centered around the fact that you should have a date and I feel like that excludes a lot of people.”
Moving forward, many aspects of the dance are up in the air, Kiraly says. One possibility is the dance being scaled down, so ticket sales can cover the cost of the event. Kiraly says that some other options include moving the dance to a different week or changing the dance format to be more like a festival or a carnival.
Sophomore Ava Stevens believes that every dance, not just Turnabout, should be about gender equality and the dance should have a slogan or a logo that advocates for this message. Due to the name holding a meaning that she disagrees with, Stevens says that the dance should be changed to something more neutral, such as Spring Formal.
“I would change the name because the name holds meaning and that is something that I disagree with,” Stevens said. “I would just call it a Spring Formal and just have no rules about it.”
Kiraly states that Girls’ Letter Club is open to partnering with other groups in the future, such as Student Council, to create more awareness and excitement for the event.
“I think that we need to bring it beyond just Girls’ Letter Club,” Kiraly said. “I really think it would help the situation if we partnered with [another club], and it doesn’t have to be Student Council, but I think there needs to be more people engaged in the process of putting on the event because it might create more awareness or more hype around the event.”