Writer reflects on Winterfest dance

Throughout my high school career, the seasonal hype always revolved around the dances. In the fall, everyone hustles over Homecoming; in the winter, it’s Winterfest, or Turnabout.

Consider it a throwback Thursday, or a transformation Tuesday, but just three years ago, Winterfest evolved dramatically. Previously, as the sister dance of Homecoming, Winterfest typically involved the girls asking the guys as their dates to the dance.

During the 2013-2014 school year,  there was an introduction of arcades and interactive activities. Lounges were created to help provide an alternative to just dancing. To lighten the atmosphere of a very date-centered dance, there was a change in setup to help provide a different scene with some mood-setting lamps, and pleather coaches. Many took this opportunity to relax from the jumping moves of the dancefloor and interact more with their peers. Quite a notable change was made in moving the festivities into the Field House instead of the Sports Center. In attempt to make more room for the new activities Stevenson integrated the change in location, which caused confusion among the crowd of upperclassmen.

Three years later, a few months prior to Winterfest, a battle of casual or formal prevailed with the most drastic change yet: the dance became non-date oriented, breaking the stereotype of having to ask someone to Turnabout. Not only was it stressed that this year you could come with friends, drive nice cars like the Chevy they rolled into the gym, and hang out with friends, there were even more activities added to the dance. Two lounges instead of one, inflatables and two photo booths, one being by a car that resembled the “Grease” theme. Joining in and photobombing some of the pictures that my friends took was memorable, especially with the take-home keepsakes from the photo booths that I have collected over the years.

Even the music was a step up due to the creation of two stages instead of the one main stage that Boom Entertainment puts up every year. The second inflatable tent was the spotlight of one of Stevenson’s own members of DJ Club, who performed for a crowd and kept more electronic dance music-based tunes going.

This being my third year as the event photographer, I’ve learned the layout of the stage and gotten to build relationships with Boom Entertainment. Seeing the dance from the backstage, you really get to see the before and after of how the stage setup transforms the whole atmosphere of the gym. Every year, the lights and the setup exceed everyone’s expectations, especially mine. Watching the transformation of one of Stevenson’s largest social gatherings is an extremely humbling experience.