Dances are among the most important social events for high school students. While prom is undeniably the top contender, the various formals and seasonal dances are still regarded with a great deal of importance by many teenagers. However, for kids who have limited experience with such events and those who have never been to a dance before, these events can pose a number of challenges. Fortunately, the dos and don’ts of school dances aren’t quite as daunting as they can often seem. Whether you’re looking to step up your school dance game or are preparing to attend your first dance, you’re sure to be well-served by the following tips.
Confirm the Style of Dress in Advance
Not all school dances are formal affairs. In addition to dances that incorporate specific themes into dress style, some schools opt to treat dances as casual outings – i.e., khakis and polos instead of tuxedos. That being the case, you’ll need to confirm the recommended style of dress well in advance of the big day. Few things are more embarrassing than showing up to a dance improperly dressed. For example, if you arrive at a formal dance in casual clothes, you’re practically guaranteed to draw attention to yourself. Now, if you and your date have jointly decided to embrace a style of dress that deviates from what’s recommended, this may be a different matter entirely. Some people revel in this kind of attention, and if getting all eyes on you is your aim, dressing differently is liable to help you achieve this goal. Just make sure that you and your date coordinate your attire in advance of the dance – and that your clothing is in keeping with the school’s dress code.
Don’t Strive for Perfection
Striving for perfection is among the most common reasons for dance anxiety. Frankly, the desire for perfection is understandable for teens on the cusp of attending an important dance. After all, if you’ve landed a big date, it’s only natural that you’d want to do everything in your power to impress them. In such scenarios, anything less than perfection is regarded as an outright failure. However, in the quest for perfection, many of us forget the primary purpose of dances – to cut loose and have fun. If you become too caught up in presenting yourself as flawless, both you and your date will feel awkward throughout the evening, and neither of you are likely to have a very good time.
Of course, this isn’t to say that you shouldn’t strive to make a good impression. There’s nothing wrong with being polite and respectful, but presenting yourself as something you’re not is liable to put undue stress on both you and your date. As cliché, as it may sound, simply being yourself, is preferable to pretending to be someone else.
It’s Okay to Take a Break
In addition to not striving for perfection, know that it’s okay to take the occasional break throughout the evening. Even if you’re feeling pressured to be “on” all night, it’s perfectly all right to let people know if you’re getting tired or need to take a breather. Anyone who would judge you for needing a wind-down is someone you don’t need in your social circle. Whether you need breaks because of a medical condition or you’re just feeling a little zonked, don’t be afraid to speak up if exhaustion starts kicking in.
Keep Things in Perspective
It’s common for teens to regard dances with more importance than they warrant. During our high school years, most of us lack the perspective to frame dances in the proper light. While a big dance may seem like the most important event ever, it’s important to realize that in a few years, this event will seem downright trivial. With this in mind, just concentrate on having a good time and sharing fun moments with friends. Even if things don’t pan out exactly as you’d hoped, a high school dance is unlikely to be one of your life’s defining events.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a high school student who places no importance on dances. Even if this type of gathering generally isn’t your thing, odds are you’ve devoted some degree of thought to it. Unsurprisingly, these events can prove stressful for teens on a number of levels, especially if dances are a relatively new thing to them. Teenagers looking for effective ways to quell dance anxiety would be wise to heed the previously discussed pointers.