Archie Williams administration tests new moshing mandate at Winter Formal

Archie Williams students of all grade levels form a dance circle during Saturdays Winter Formal dance.
Archie Williams students of all grade levels form a dance circle during Saturday’s Winter Formal dance.
Henry Manning

On Saturday, Feb.10, Archie Williams hosted its annual Winter Formal dance at Peacock Gap Golf Club in San Rafael. The dance took place from 7 pm to 10 pm, and despite the new “no moshing” rule, it was filled with music, dancing, and activities. 

Ticket sales began in late January, costing $50 for Archie Williams students, and $60 for guest students. Only 50 guests were allowed. ASB coordinated the Winter Formal Dance, like most Archie Williams events.

The Archie Williams administration mandated a ban on all forms of “mosh” dancing during the Winter Formal dance, as well as future school dances. During the week preceding Winter Formal, a YouTube video, created by the administration, was shown to all Archie Williams students, informing them of the change of regulations. 

Archie Williams freshman Gypsy Gregor attended her first Winter Formal on Saturday. Despite her overall positive experience, similarly to many of her peers, she didn’t appreciate the new “no-moshing” rule.

“[Winter Formal] was pretty good, I had a really fun time…” Gypsy said. “[But I didn’t like the no moshing rule], because kids are gonna mosh either way, and it’s the fun part of the dance.”

Students congregate on the dance floor of the Peacock Gap venue during Winter Formal on Saturday, Feb. 10. (Henry Manning)

The majority of Archie Williams students regarded the activities at Winter Formal as better than the activities provided at Homecoming. Unlike Homecoming’s pre-packaged snacks and assortment of indoor activities, the Winter Formal venue had concessions including tacos, lemonade, two blackjack tables, and two ping pong tables.

Junior Donovan Traub attended his second Winter Formal at Archie Williams this year. Donovan appreciated the atmosphere of the dance, though he was not fond of the “no-moshing” rule.

“[Winter Formal] was fun… but I think there were some restrictions that made it not very good, so that kind of killed it. It was not as enjoyable as it could have been,” Donovan said.

To ensure the safety of the students, all attendees were briefly searched upon entry to the venue. San Rafael police patrolled the parking lot, and Archie Williams leadership “Safe Leaders” kept an eye out on the inside. 

Archie Williams leadership volunteers acted as Safe Leaders during the dance, available to respond 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 Aidan Dunn attended the dance as a Safe Leader. 

“[Safe leaders] aren’t here to have the most fun in the world. They have to be aware of their surroundings and be aware of what people are doing around them,” Aidan said. 

Although the dance was frequently paused for safety reasons, Aidan still enjoyed it, and thought that the “no moshing rule” was a called-for addition to the event’s protocol.

“I think the dance was great. Obviously, we had some issues with the moshing and people getting hurt at Homecoming. I know that a lot of people don’t like that we’re stopping the music, but unfortunately, we have to,” Aidan said.

Although students’ opinions on Winter Formal differed, a majority responded with excitement for what ASB has planned next. 

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