Opinion: Dance music should be student selected


Keya Arora

A potential playlist made by popular student vote for formal.

If you asked your parents what their life was like in high school, chances are there would be few similarities. They walked multiple miles to get to school every day, an infamous tale, while we ride in the comfort of a car or perhaps a bus. Their valedictorians took three AP courses while ours take nine. However, there is one thing in common between the two generations— school dances. For most high schoolers, homecoming, formal, and prom are welcomed breaks in otherwise routine semesters.

Let’s be real; at the end of the day, the biggest part of these dances isn’t what you wore or who went with, but whether the music was good. Yet after every dance, I find myself criticizing the sheer number of unidentifiable rap beats or songs a little too old for our generation. It shouldn’t be that the most significant aspect of an event organized, planned, and run by the student body is controlled by an arbitrary DJ.

Of course, everyone has a varying taste in music. There will never be the ideal playlist to satisfy all 2400 students at Carlmont High School. But, there are still options that will agree more with the general population.

According to a survey conducted at Carlmont, 51.4% of the students who voted said they either mostly dislike or completely dislike the music at school dances. Despite this slight majority, 66% of students voted that the DJ should use a playlist put together by the student body. A playlist like this could be easily put together through popular vote. 

While DJs are hired to mix music, their job description often includes supplying custom playlists. However, providing a DJ with a premade playlist would be a useful guide, and allow them to customize playlists based exactly off of what the student body wants to hear the most. Often, DJs custom playlists are just a compilation of top songs or classic beats—some of which are not good for dancing. Other times, a DJ will repeat songs, the horror, something that’s usually ill-perceived.

 A playlist made by the student body would benefit both parties. It would save the students from ranting about their less-than-amazing evening, and save the DJ from behind-the-back whispers about their music taste.

With everything else going on in a student’s life, the music selection at dances seems inconsequential. However, high school dances are memories that stick around for a while—why not make them pleasant ones with this easy fix?