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Alumni reminisce about past dances

Alumni reminisce about past dances
Dancing in the crypt, students enjoy a 1981 Family Night. This was an event where students spent time with their families before an evening dance.

It is time again for another homecoming. For current students, it may seem that this same thing has happened every fall for 50 years. However, the homecoming that is celebrated today is relatively new in the school’s history.

“In 2009, I attended the first homecoming[dance] ever as a freshman,” admissions director Thomas Maliszewki ‘12 said. “I went in a group of about 10 or 15 of us with our dates.”

This first homecoming featured a student-only pep rally and three dress down days during the week.

“Our pep rally consisted of the seniors teaching us all of the cheers for the football game later in the week,” Maliszewski said. They would pull their cars by the football field into a half circle to have some light out there.”

Past students enjoyed numerous other dances before the homecoming inauguration. A similar dance was called “Family Night,” which happened twice a year following a football game and basketball game.

“Family Night was what they had before Wednesday night visits,” Dave Hohman ‘83 said. “The parents and faculty would enjoy pizza, students and girlfriends had a dance, and the little kids played games and watched a movie.”

Another memorable dance that  alumni recall is the Halloween dance. 

“The Halloween dance was the most popular one; everybody went to that,” history teacher John Roshone ‘99 said.

The Halloween dance has been a tradition for a much longer time. Awards were given out during the dance for the best costumes even then. The costume contest became a tradition amongst the classes.

“I came as a tree in a mop bucket, so people had to drag me around during the whole dance,”   Br. Luke Clinton ‘77 said. “I got second in the costume competition and the people who got first were dressed as Kiss [the band], so that can tell you a little about the time period.”

Prom was an exclusive event for juniors and seniors, just like it is today, although the festivities and locations were much different.

“In 1993, prom was held on the Belle of Brownville, which was a boat that sailed down the Missouri River during the dance,” former Marian student Elizabeth Boone said. “It was a blast, it was different than any other prom around.”

During December, the school used to host an annual Snowball Dance. This dance started in the 80’s. Unlike prom, all classes were allowed to attend this formal event.

“The Snowball Dance was always very well attended,” Abbot Michael Liebl ‘68 said. “The freshmen and sophomores were able to join their upperclassmen for a formal dance.”

However, by the first decade of the 21st century the popularity of the dance faded.  In the 08-09 school year the administration decided to cancel the dance.

While school dances have occurred in a variety of different forms, they all have been integral parts of a Mount Michael student’s experience.

“Dances were a big deal because everyone was a boarder at the time, so to have interactions with the outside world like seeing girls was special.” Roshone said.

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