Student section at Desert Vista football games

The Desert Vista student section cheers on the football team Aug. 19. After three of their five school dances were canceled this year, the school hired a DJ to turn football games into more of a social event.

Darryl Webb/AFN

Desert Vista High School students will be able to enjoy only two dances this year, down from five last year, due to economic and behavioral reasons.

It turns out that not enough students were attending these dances to make it economically viable to continue to host them, according to DV's assistant principal of activities Tomika Bethea.

"We weren't getting as many people to go as we hoped," she said.

All but the Homecoming Dance and Prom have been cancelled this year for DV students. But there was another reason besides lack of ticket sales.

"We were looking for a change in behavior that didn't happen," Bethea said. "Before each dance we would tell them what was the appropriate dress code and ways to dance. They did not stop after being asked constantly."

She said they would go over what was acceptable before each dance last year. But it did not make a difference once the music started playing.

"We warn them every dance," Bethea said. "This year there will be just formals."

To make up for a loss in student activities, she said the school will host several other social events for the students, including a Battle of the Bands competition, a talent show and a carnival later in the year once the weather cools down.

"We didn't cancel their social events entirely, there will be other things to replace the dances," Bethea said.

A member of the Desert Vista Student Council said officers were instructed not to talk to outside sources about whether there was discussion between administrators and students before the decision was made.

Students are also getting the benefit of having a DJ at their home football games. While all these things may not equal the fun of going out to a school dance with your friends, what I saw at the game this past Friday was that the passion for their football team and their school was as strong as ever.

It remains to be seen if the students will be able to get their dances back in the future.

Who knows, maybe it will be one of those scenarios where less is more and the two formals will become more significant events and more widely attended. Until then, they will have to find other outlets for social events.

But something tells me that won't be too difficult.

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