Stepping Back into Regular Dances


Clarion photo Ariel Harmon

Students have fun and support school spirit

By Mia Johnson , Reporter

Exciting music blared as students flocked to the gym. Tissue paper flower decorations evoked images of spring. Dancing, laughing, and general fun-having were all a part of the spring semi-formal this year. “Stepping into Spring” was held on Friday, March 2 from 7-10 p.m.

Students were required to sign a pledge with their parents respecting the terms of consent, appropriate dancing, and respect in order to attend the dance. This is now the third dance in which leadership has enforced these pledges for attendance, and the result seems to be a better environment.

In the past, Cleveland has had a reputation for dirty dancing and dances that generally get out of control, but it seems possible that those norms have been changed for good.

Leadership teacher Eric Mirsepassi said, “I base how things are working from what I hear from students. Overwhelmingly I’ve heard, yes the pledges are working, they’ve had a very positive impact, they’ve changed a lot of the culture. The push that was made last year has continued into this year around sexual assault and consent and it’s always something that’s important for us to keep at the forefront of our minds, but so far yes, it’s been very successful.”

Student Body President Terrance Phal added, “The pledges have definitely changed the cultural norms around Cleveland. I think it’s just another way we can reinforce holding people accountable for their actions.”

Although the turn out for the dance was relatively small — about 200 people showed up, which was less than the number of tickets sold. This was enough for the costs to break even, but without much profit. However, the people who were there were able to have fun in the positive environment and didn’t have to worry about personal safety.

Phal said his own goals for the dance were met. “I wanted this dance to be aimed more at the the freshmen and sophomores since the seniors have prom. I wanted it to say, ‘Hey, this is for you! Tell your friends to tell their friends that this is going to be awesome.’ It’s like a little taste of prom without the full effect,” he said. Having events like these that support community progression and are open for all students is important.

Mirsepassi said, “One of the things that has been a big focal point in conversations that are happening at this school among different groups, Leadership included, is the culture of the school and people wanting to be here and people wanting to be invested and how we are hoping to improve on that. So I think just having more dances on the calendar and more things that will allow students to be here will continue to help build that motivation.”

Increasing attendance would be a goal, but even starting small is important. He continued saying, “I’ve heard more excitement around dances lately. I think there was a perception around the student body that dances always got cancelled, so that fact that that hasn’t happened in the past two years has been impactful.”

“Stepping into Spring” was a high note to kick off the spring season and another good push toward future dances.

Junior Nick Paesler said of the dance, “The semi-formal was a blast to plan and exciting to put on. Although attendance was on the smaller side, I know the people who went shared lots of laughs and had fun on the dance floor.