Formal: a blast for some, a bust for others

Jill Albertson, Staff Writer

“Let’s do it again!” said sophomore Shelby Young after her very first high school Winter Formal.

Carlmont High School held its annual Winter Formal dance on Jan. 23 at the local Fox Theater in Redwood City. Filled with extraterrestrial decorations and high spirit, Carlmont’s “out-of-this-world Formal” had a turn out of approximately 975 students.

Senior and head of the Carlmont ASB Dance Commission Amelia Armstrong said, “There was definitely a lot more positive energy this year compared to previous years. The turn out was incredible, and it was everything we could have hoped for.”

With the numerous hours of preparation and excitement before the event, students had high hopes for this year’s dance. Many students seemed pleased with the final result.


Sophomore Jimmy Rudger said, “I really enjoyed Formal this year. I thought the music was a lot better [than last year], and I also thought the space theme was cool. The decorations really added to the atmosphere and everyone looked amazing!”

For some, the experience was not as enjoyable.

Sophomore James Houston said, “The dance was a lot of fun except for the DJ. He didn’t play any new songs, just old songs that didn’t get the crowd as pumped up. I also wish the music could have been a lot louder.”


For most members of the graduating class of 2016, this was their final high school Formal.

Senior Thomas Chin said, “This was the best last Formal I could’ve asked for. The spirit was incredibly high and it was definitely the biggest turn out yet. Everyone could just feel the energy and it made for a really fun Formal.”

Although this was the last high school Formal for some, for others it was their very first. Many students from the class of 2019 seemed to have a positive experience at their first big high school dance.

Freshman Kayla Gustafson said, “I had a lot of fun at my first Formal; it’s definitely a lot different from middle school dances. It was nice to get all dressed up with my friends and take photos and then go crazy while dancing.”


In previous years, there has been pressure to arrive to the Winter Formal dance with a date, but this year, that issue didn’t seem to be as apparent.

Armstrong said, “ASB typically likes to emphasize the ‘No date, No problem!’ slogan when Formal comes around, but this year a lot of people seemed to go alone without our encouragement. Formal is a fun experience for everyone, whether you have a date or not, so it was super cool to see people going stag and just having fun with their friends.”

With the overall turnout from this year’s Formal, students are excited and looking forward to next year’s event.

Young said, “You get to see people like the girl you sit next to in math who never talks, dressed up and dancing. Having an event like this outside of school is a really cool opportunity. I can’t wait for next year!