Hopkins Academy

Semi-formal

In Editorials, Features on February 27, 2012 at 1:37 pm

Andrea Valentini ’13

You’re standing in a dimly lit room of the parish hall at Most Holy Redeemer church in Hadley, surrounded by people and music that is playing above the chatter. What are you supposed to do? The answer is dance, because this is Hopkins Academy’s annual Semi-formal! The music filling the room is not hymns, but the crap that we love, and for some reason, when it comes on the radio in our cars, we decide to jam out because we think no one is watching (just because a person passing you is driving by at 40 mph, it doesn’t mean that they can’t see you going nuts).

Who was it that created and broadcasted this playlist of fun-infusing music to dance to? No one other than the one and only Olivia Mathieu. Olivia not only  graced us with music, but got up on the DJ’s table and danced her signature sandstorm promenade.

I’m not quite sure what it is about loud music and lyrics so creative that there are now millions of words to replace the other dirty words, but it’s music like this that transforms a perfectly appropriate kid into a grinding maniac. I’m not going to lie, I find this quite amusing. What is it that makes a person choose to get all up on another person in the middle of a dance floor? They don’t even have to like or know who it is they are gyrating with and you know what? It’s okay; this is all just part of the ritual of young adulthood, casually being expressed through dancing. I would, however, like to know when dancing went from waltzing to grinding.

There are many different degrees and categories of this ritual, all of which I  observed at semi.  First, there are the “standbys”: people who awkwardly stand behind the dance lines and the people goin’ at it.  Sometimes I wonder what those people think about while they stand there watching; they’re probably just judging the rest of us.

Next, there are the “side sneak attackers”.  Everyone at some point experiences this category, because it is occasionally unavoidable.  These are the people who start dancing next to you and you’re wondering if they are dancing “with you” or not.

There are also the “standing sticks”; two people who press their bodies against each-other and simply move up and down a tad (you know who you are).

Then you can’t forget about the “happy-go-luckies”-  These are people who happily dance with whomever comes up to them and, through the night appears to be having a good time. Half of these people are just trying to fit in with the other categories and they usually blend pretty well.

Last, but certainly not least there  are the “nuts”. Self explanatory. Everyone and anyone is fair game to be victims of their personal bubble popping.

Overall, semi was a pretty good time, aside from the traditional awkward mingling and overwhelming feelings of self-consciousness in the  beginning.  After the early birds cracked their shells of embarrassment, and the “fashionably” late people (by the way, who are you guys kidding? We all know that before the dance, you are just sitting at home looking at the clock every five minutes wondering if it’s late enough to leave, and every time you say “no” you give yourself a stupid little useless task to pass the time)- choose to show up.  Icy feelings of bashfulness finally melt into the heat of teenage craze.  These  semi-shindigs always work out in the end, the room always fills with rhythmic clapping, laughter surfaces over the music and when the lights come on the promiscuity goes out.

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