“The Weekend” by SZA blasted through the speakers as students of Oceana High School entered the elegantly decorated Dominic’s Oyster Point venue in South City. Two weeks after winter break, the back-to-school adjustments have meant the usual do-nows, quizzes, Cornell notes, fish bowls, and for freshmen and sophmores, a weekly pool run. But on Saturday night, January 20, students had a chance to take a break from the common school expectations and instead to dine, converse, and dance at Oceana’s annual Winter Ball.
ASB had been preparing for this night for months, with the promise of a remodeled venue, DJ, and a photo booth. Brianna Verduzco, Senior Prom Commissioner and primary planner of Winter Ball, said that, “This year, we’re planning to keep the decorations simple and more focused on the venue itself because it’s a pretty venue already. In fact, we have an even larger outdoor space this year as well.” And people definitely noticed. Eden Schulman, a Freshman at Oceana says, “I also liked how you were welcomed to go outside because it was cooler and quieter.”
The night started with nervous students taking there seats at candle lit tables, with a warm violet light beaming throughout the ballroom. A buffet style dinner of pasta, salad, fruit, and rice was laid out for attendants. After everyone filled up on the food, the tables were moved and a dance floor was revealed. Students were hesitant at first, but once the music took over and the lights dimmed just enough, it was hard not to dance.
I interviewed a variety of Freshman who, despite having different experiences, all had a great time; it was their first high school dance after all! “I wanted to experience winter ball since this was my first high school dance. I was so excited to go with my friends,” Lea Sangalang reminices. “[I liked] the part where we were all screaming… also the slow dance,” says Dave Sawyer, referring to both the crazy and romantic parts of the night. Rauzzli Rodriguez had hopes of having a good time and they were fulfilled: “I absolutely loved dancing with my friend and seeing them happy, because seeing them happy makes me happy and always makes me smile.”
Despite only going because his grandmother wanted him to, Trent Jimenez had a wonderful night. “I got to talk to my friend I haven’t been able to talk to in awhile and I got to dance with them, and it was so fun it made my year.”
This energized, youthful mood continued until 10:00 pm, fueled by sugared-up, cream-drenched coffee, and teen spirit. The DJ was cheered on two more times before he announced to the students the party had to end as they chanted,“One more song!!” Attendants hugged one another goodbye, knowing that although they would see one another on Monday, it would not be this way till next year – A bittersweet end to a night straight out of a John Hughes movie. In the words of Callista Aguas, “[It was] loud, lit, and awesome.”