Downey High dances in jeopardy

DOWNEY - From about 800 Sadie Hawkins Dance tickets sold in previous years to only 38 last spring, the future of Downey High School dances is at stake.Downey High ASB (Associated Student Body) cancelled Sadie Hawkins this past spring due to poor ticket sales and also decided to call off the Back-to-School Dance scheduled for this fall due to previous poor dance attendance and budget cuts, said Downey senior and ASB President Liz Calvillo.

According to Downey junior and ASB Treasurer Kristin Maranan, ASB is facing budget cuts now that it is banned from selling snacks to students-the main source of revenue in funding for dances. "We're no longer allowed to sell food like churros and popcorn to the students in the quad," Maranan said. "The cafeteria ladies see us as competition, so now our budget for dances is really low." With a tight budget, ASB has needed to find new, more economical ways to prepare for the dances.

"We used to be able to buy nice decorations," Maranan said. "Now, ASB members have to draw pictures to decorate [the dances]. All we can afford now is paper to decorate on and pay DJs." Although money is a complication, appointed ASB members such as Downey senior and Dance Coordinator Elena Ortiz still hope to improve dances this upcoming year. "Students can expect better music, DJs, and themes from this year's dances," Ortiz said. "We're really upping our game." In previous years, students used to receive a free Back-to-School Dance ticket with the purchase of an ASB Activities Card. This year, ASB did not give out free tickets and is considering the Homecoming Dance as the school's Back-to-School Dance. There will be no Back-to-School Dance following a football game as it has been for many years at Downey; instead, Homecoming will take place right after the Homecoming game. Although there will be no Back-to-School Dance this fall, students can look forward to Homecoming in October. ASB has confirmed the theme of this year's Homecoming is "Up, Up, and Away," inspired by Disney-Pixar's film "Up." The dance will be held in the school's gym after the game. "Students can come from the [Allen Layne] stadium and head to the gym for the dance," Ortiz said. Despite the economic obstacles, ASB members are looking forward to holding better dances even with a limited budget.

********** Published: September 4, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 20

NewsEric Pierce