Winter Formal Dance wraps up spirit week with a bang

On Saturday, Feb.11, Archie Williams hosted its first Winter Formal dance since 2020. The dance occurred from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Peacock Gap Golf Club in San Rafael.

 Ticket sales began in early Jan. for 35 dollars per ticket, but prices escalated to 45 dollars per ticket on Jan. 25. Students from other schools could also attend the dance for 50 dollars if invited by someone from Archie Williams.

Archie Williams students gather for a photo on the Peacock Gap dance floor. (Courtesy of ASB)

Like most school events, ASB coordinated the Winter Formal dance. ASB members arrived at Peacock Gap as early as 5 p.m. to prepare for the event. Although ASB planned both Homecoming and Winter Formal, students felt the two events were very different. 

Junior Peyton Foster Figari, one of the 750 students who attended Winter Formal at Peacock Gap, preferred their Winter Formal experience more than their Homecoming experience.

“The location was really fun, although personally I prefer being outside,” Peyton said. “It was really crowded at Homecoming and really loud, and it was nice that it was less crowded and loud at Winter Formal and that Winter Formal had food.”

In contrast, Archie Williams freshman Leo Spampanato thought Homecoming was better. 

“I liked Homecoming better [than Winter Formal.] I thought the music was better [at Homecoming,] it just felt like more of a party and more exciting,” Leo said, “I feel like Winter Formal wasn’t supposed to be a rave but people made it anyway, and I didn’t like that.”

Archie Williams senior Elsa Snipes and junior Amelia Richer pose outside the dance floor. (Courtesy of ASB)

Students disagreed on their favorite school event, but most agreed that activities at Winter Formal were better than Homecoming. Provisions at Winter Formal included hot food like tacos and hot dogs, lemonade, two skee ball machines, and two ping pong tables, which students found superior compared to Homecoming’s photo booth and candy.

“I liked [Winter Formal more than Homecoming] because it was bigger, and it had more games like ping pong,” said sophomore Elyce Severson

To ensure the safety of the students, all attendees were briefly searched upon entry to the venue. San Rafael police patrolled the parking lot. In addition to supervision from Archie Williams faculty and security, student leadership (Peer Resource, ASB, STAAR, and AVID) trained as “Safe Leaders” were present. 

Archie Williams tasked Safe Leaders with responding to any student in distress. Wearing glowing heart necklaces, the leaders could be easily spotted by anyone in an uncomfortable situation, such as sexual misconduct. ASB member and sophomore, Zach Wulff, attended the dance as a safe leader. 

“We are wearing heart necklaces so that people who need help can find us. We also have people watching over the dance floor at all times making sure that no one is throwing their hands up in distress,”

— Zach Wulff

Peacock Gap, the venue hosting the 2023 Winter Formal dance, provided a large recreational area for the dance floor. Although all opinions about the dance differed, ASB members deemed Winter Formal a success.