Winter Formal dances past COVID-19 delays

Carlmonts+Through+the+Looking+Glass+Winter+Formal+was+held+on+March+4+after+months+of+delay.

Myles Hu

Carlmont’s Through the Looking Glass Winter Formal was held on March 4 after months of delay.

Students at the Through the Looking Glass 2022 Winter Formal danced through the night despite postponements and uncertainties.

On March 4, from 7-11 p.m., Carlmont High School hosted its Winter Formal dance at the Fox Theatre in Redwood City, with over a thousand students attending. The Winter Formal had previously been postponed from its original date in January due to concerns about the omicron variant of COVID-19.

Jim Kelly, the Carlmont activities director, described the overall process of rescheduling the dance.

“When we first started talking about the fact that we couldn’t do formal in January, our options were either postponing it to an indefinite date or canceling it. And Mr. Priest, [Carlmont’s interim principal,] said, ‘No, we are not canceling because these students need this, and we need to provide this,’ so it came down to this weekend being the only possible weekend,” Kelly said.

Kelly also explained the procedure of choosing a last-minute venue amid uncertainty over the ongoing wave of the Omicron variant at the time.

“The question was whether we wanted the venue indoors or outdoors, and what policies were going to be in place. We looked at everything from the San Francisco Zoo to the County Fair Grounds, and at the last second, Fox Theatre became available, and it turns out Friday was the only day available,” Kelly said.

It came down to this weekend being the only possible weekend.”

— Jim Kelly

Due to worries about the spread of COVID-19, many new requirements were put into place for Winter Formal. These included no guests being allowed, and proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test being taken within 48 hours of the event. Kelly explained how these new requirements were decided upon.

“The district decided not to allow students from other schools because logistically it’s a lot easier when you don’t have to deal with vaccines from people outside of the school, which again was not ideal. But, we still had over a thousand students going, so it was still pretty popular. And then the vaccine policy or COVID test from Worksite Labs was also determined by the district,” Kelly said.

Sophia Boynton, a senior and member of the Associative Student Body (ASB) Dance Commission, illustrated the procedures ASB went through to develop the finalized plans, including the theme of Through the Looking Glass. 

“We basically came up with a bunch of themes and then had people vote on which was their favorite, and ultimately Alice in Wonderland was chosen,” Boynton said.

Boynton also describes the process of publicizing the formal through social media with various posts being created to increase engagement, along with a formposal competition amongst Carlmont students. In the end, Boynton was delighted with the envisioned plan and overall results of the dance. 

All in all, the Winter Formal ran smoothly throughout the night with few hiccups. Nathan Chan, a freshman, explains his overall experience at the dance, from his favorite moments to the negatives of his first formal experience. 

“I found spending time with all my friends really fun, including dancing and seeing them dressed up. I also enjoyed how there was a coat check, so we didn’t need to hold all our belongings; however, something that made formal less enjoyable was how hot it got in the theater. Overall, I really enjoyed my first formal and cannot wait for next year,” Chan said.