Onyx Hosts Inter-School Dance
by Mallika Iyer on Friday, May 4th, 2012
On Saturday, April 28th, Milton once again hosted the annual and highly anticipated Onyx Dance, to which we invited many peer high schools in the Boston area. Onyx is often referred to as the best dance of the year, and the excitement is built up weeks in advance.
Much of the excitement is due to the number of students from other schools that attend, and, as one senior said, “The chance to meet, chill, and have a good time with people who you aren’t going to see every day at school.” Nevertheless, Onyx has evoked various opinions from our student body.
There are those who champion that Onyx is a dance that deserves the anticipation it gets. Those students believe that Onyx comes at the ideal time of year. Spring is hectic, with term papers and DYO reports, and only a few weeks left to raise grades, so Onyx is the perfect way to release all the stress on our shoulders. On the other hand, there were several members from the sophomore, junior and senior classes who recounted memories from Onyx using adjectives such as, “creepy, weird, and off-putting.” None of these people wanted their names published. There have been rumors that Onyx won’t take place again, but there’s never been any serious effort to cancel it.
Mr. Heard, who says that Onyx has been a Milton tradition since he was a student here, does not think that kids are more likely to get in trouble or violate school rules any more then they would at another dance.
When asked about how the presence of non-Milton students could incite risqué behavior, he said, “Any big dance is a big dance, doesn’t matter if it’s Onyx or Prom or Swap-it.” At the same time, there is more adult supervision at Onyx. Ms. Taylor, who coordinates the guest list, arranges for a number of additional chaperones to make sure the dance does not get our of control. Each school invited is required to bring at least one faculty member to chaperone.
Mr. Heard says that, “we’re really dependent on schools to bring chaperones, because it relies on both participants and chaperones to make sure we’re creating a safe space. What happens in the middle of the dance floor is a lot harder to get to, and it’s obvious that not everybody who goes into the middle is going for the best reasons. We do the best we can.”
The change in location has also been a defining factor in the planning of Onyx. Onyx has been hosted in Thatcher, Wigg, and, for the first time last year, in the CSG. While students seem to favor Wigg or the Student Center for dances, the goal in choosing a location is to select one where students have create enough space to move around and to dance freely without being on top of each other. This year, the dance will once again be held in the CSG.
Mr. Heard recalled his own experiences of chaperoning, saying that the dance was “hot and sweaty, but it always seemed like people were definitely fun.” He added, “It’s a little disappointing in how some of our kids decide to dress up,” but at the end of the day, Mr. Heard conceded that the students who typically follow the rules will continue to do so.
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