Are High School Dances The New Arranged Marriages?

Maddie Griggs

Here at Minnetonka High School, school dances are a big deal. However, these days it seems that the dances are becoming less important to the students than how the student asks his or her date. Dates are not just surprises anymore– they are planned. So when did this change?

When talking with my mom, I asked her about her high school experiences twenty years ago. My mom politely noted that “twenty years ago, we didn’t know who was asking us to the high school dance. It was a complete surprise and when they asked you they just asked– there was no froofy asking and no posting pictures of it on social media.” My mom grew up in simpler times obviously, but the main point is true: dances have become less about the dance and more about the asking.

This year’s Sweet Hearts is very planned for me– I know what boy I am asking and he knows that I am asking him although I have not even asked him yet. My friends helped me plan out what boy to ask and helped me plan out my “big idea” on how I am going to ask him… with a giant neon poster board and a witty joke engraved on it, of course!

I am not saying that there is anything wrong with this intense planning; in some ways, it decreases stress from situations and can enable everyone to ensure that they will have a date. However, the main idea of planning out a special way to ask someone to a dance is a bit odd. There is intense planning that takes a lot of time in order to create “the wittiest pun” to ask someone even when you already know that you are going with that date.

So- why is any of this even important? Most high schoolers enjoy the “new norm” or asking in an extravagant way. So why talk about it? Because things are changing and so are dances and how you ask someone to one. You cannot control the changing times as much as you can control what you know about them.