The message is not clear: The formalities, informalities of the Courtwarming dance


Image by Cassidy Newberry

Story by The Signal Staff

Courtwarming is an annual tradition at many high schools, including Fort Osage. Students buy a $7 ticket, then go out and buy formal attire to wear to the dance. This year at Fort Osage Student Council wanted to try to switch Courtwarming up a little bit to get more students involved by charging $10 for a t-shirt. More students attended Homecoming than Courtwarming every year. The Student Council thought with the t-shirt idea it would bring more students who don’t want to wear formal attire or can’t afford it. Student Council has had previous attempts at informal dances in the past.

Student Council President Kaden Krysa talked to us about the attendance differences with Homecoming and Courtwarming. He reported that Homecoming has typically had about 800-850 students attend and Courtwarming has typically had about 200-300 students. 

“We have tried an informal Courtwarming in the past and we had a lot of backlash for it, so we tried to change the verbiage,” Krysa said. “To where it was a softer push as to changing it from a formal dance where you have to wear dresses and stuff. To something where you can kind of just show up, have fun, wear a T-shirt, hang out with your friends. Our impact is less people have to spend as much money to go to three dances a year.”

The Signal staff understands what student council was trying to do with changing the Courtwarming dance. There seemed to be miscommunication about whether the dance was informal or formal. Certain students and The Signal staff were thinking the dance was informal. While The Student Council didn’t directly say it was formal or informal. 

The Signal staff made a poll asking students at Fort Osage “Do you like the idea of an informal Courtwarming?” Out of the 169 votes cast in the poll, 50% of respondents said yes and 50% of them said no to the idea of an informal Courtwarming. Although this is not a scientific poll, it does bring to light that there is some disconnect with how students feel about the idea of an informal dance.

Student Council Vice President Addisyn Sims said in an email to The Signal staff, “For example if I choose to wear my formal dress underneath my t-shirt to get into the dance but then decide to take it off once inside, that is completely fine. If I decide to wear jeans with my t-shirt that is also fine.” That statement makes the dance seem informal. The dictionary definition for “informal is  “(of dress) casual; suitable for everyday wear.” If students are allowed to wear whatever they want, that makes the dance seem informal.

The idea for the new “Splatter Theme Courtwarming” is not bad. However, not all students seemed to understand it. The Signal staff feels that student council just didn’t deliver the message of the new Courtwarming in an effective manner. But on the flip side, The Signal staff appreciates student council trying new ways to get more students involved and interested in going to school events. It is just students don’t have enough information on the new change in the dance or what may have prompted these changes. 

When or if student council try’s new things we hope more communication is involved, so that students may get a better feel for the new activity and may be excited to try it out.