Homecoming Tradition Gets Revamped

Junior+Carlos+O%E2%80%99Connor+practices+flying+for+the+group+dance+with+his+stunt+group%2C+taught+by+junior+cheerleader%2C+Anna+Miliotes.+%0A

Junior Carlos O’Connor practices flying for the group dance with his stunt group, taught by junior cheerleader, Anna Miliotes.

Alec Diaz, STAFF WRITER

   The yearly Junior-Senior Dance Battle, formerly known as the powder-puff dance, has been going on at Trinity for decades, but is being revamped this year. The new rules and guidelines are focused primarily on the format and name of the dance.  

   New Head of Upper School Dr. Tracy Bonday had a meeting with head cheer coach Rylan Smith and other administrators after issues with the name had come up in some previous school meetings.      

   “Powder-puff has some derogatory perceptions as well, but I think there was also a reason just again in trying to be inclusive on the gender identity piece,” Bonday said. 

   Bonday cited student concerns with the gendered dress code as a sign that the student body was concerned in other ways with gender identity topics.  

   She said she feels like the name change is a step in the right direction to make students comfortable, follow the characteristics of a saint, and the school’s overall mission.

   The performance time of the dance battle is another change. Instead of performing at the pep rally, the dancers will perform during halftime of the junior-senior football game on Thursday. 

   “I think if … I felt with 100% certainty that everybody was going to behave and they were going to do the dance as they practiced, and as approved right through my office, then we would probably have it at the pep rally,” Bonday said. 

   These changes were decided upon as there had previously been complaints about the nature of the dances. Bonday said that some students, parents, and even faculty members had talked to her about their issues with the dance. Bonday also said that there are middle school students that don’t need to be exposed to the dance, as it has been overly sexualized.  

   “[The faculty members] found it highly offensive,” Bonday said. “I had somebody tell me that it was a visual that was something when they left work that day, they could not take away, because they were shocked, that in a faith-based school, that this type of behavior had happened.” 

   The cheerleaders and students involved have to get the dance approved by Bonday, and if the dance is considered inappropriate or if someone does something out of line from the approved dance, there will be a punishment. Smith makes sure that the dances are safe and hopefully appropriate before being approved by Bonday.  

   Captain of the varsity cheer team and senior event coordinator Taylor Brown, said that Bonday had gathered the student council to tell them about the punishments and that if a dance is not approved or if the boy’s clothes are ripped, then that is inappropriate. According to Brown, the possible punishment was not made clear.     

   Not only does the dance have to be approved by Bonday, but the music does as well. Bonday also said that detention would not be enough for students who step out of line.   

   “I can’t say historically, what’s happened to students that have gone over the edge,” Bonday said. “What I said to everybody coaching, was that anybody that went off script depending on what that looked like, was potentially going to be sanctioned, that it would be more than a detention because I did not perceive that a detention was sufficient as a deterrent for the behavior. I would not lock myself in to what that sanction would be because I did not want people doing what I would call a cost-benefit analysis and those were the parameters that they were provided with in order to hopefully get everybody to try to do the right thing.” Brown said that she doesn’t think the dance and the previous name were that bad. 

   “I never heard the name and was really offended by it, and being a cheerleader, we get made fun of enough…so having the guys do something that’s sort of a parody of us never bothered me, and it’s kind of fun just watching the kids from your grade act a little silly,” Brown said. 

   Although Brown said this, she understands that the changes are made so that no one is uncomfortable. 

   Junior Dylan Kling feels like the new name doesn’t get people as excited as the old name did. 

   “I feel like changing the name from powder-puff to the junior-senior dance battle doesn’t hold the same hype as it did,” Kling said. “In previous years, when people heard powder-puff, they got super excited, but when they hear the junior-senior dance battle, it’s just not the same.”       

   Despite the many changes to the dance battle, Bonday makes it clear that the students should still be able to have a good time.  

   “It [the changes] doesn’t mean that we can’t have fun, or that we can’t have a good time, we just have to be cognizant of each other,” Bonday said.