Turnabout turns away from gender stereotypes to increase attendance

 On Feb. 29, BG will be hosting their annual Turnabout dance, where students can gather and spend time together outside of school hours. Through the years, Turnabout hasn’t been as highly attended as Homecoming. This may have varying reasons such as the tradition of girls  asking out guys and the lack of popularity. Although it has not been heavily attended, the sophomore class board, with the help of Blue Crew, works on new ideas every year to try to appeal more towards the student body.  

       Science teacher and new sophomore class board adviser, Stefanie O’Neill said that her and the sophomore class board are trying to make Turnabout a fun place for students to get together and set aside the girl-asks-guy stereotype. It’s an opportunity for a school gathering in the winter, as compared to Homecoming in the fall and prom in the spring. 

       “This gives the students the opportunity for less of the girl-asks-guy type of thing, but instead a place you can go with your friends to have some fun,” O’Neill said.

         In an attempt to get more students to come to Turnabout, in the past years the class boards have tried changing up the theme and even changing the name of Turnabout to  “Winter Formal” along with other ideas. According to O’Neill, it’s hard to compete with the popularity of Homecoming and Prom. The fact that the dance is in winter may be a discouraging reason for some to not attend it because of the weather. 

         “I think Turnabout isn’t as popular as homecoming because it isn’t as advertised as homecoming is, and some other schools don’t have it,” sophomore Jaclyn Rende said. 

       According to O’Neill, some students don’t go because they are nervous about having to asking the opposite gender.  But this year, less emphasis is being put on having to have a date and more is being put to make the dance an enjoyable time for all students, whether you have a date or not.

       “I feel like people only usually go to it if they have a date. It kind of seems like a couples thing,”  junior Dilnoza Sultonova said. “Maybe if they changed the meaning of it [the dance], more people would come.”

       According to O’Neill, this is what they are hoping to do. They want to encourage more people to come by changing the stereotypes that surround it.  With that in mind, O’Neill hopes to see more popularity with the dance.

           “We have to work more effectively on promoting the dance,” Rende said.   

   According to Sultonova, they can do this by hanging larger posters on the walls to bring attention to the students and by addressing the new focus more.

 Sultonova and Rende both agree that with more advertisements and anticipation for the dance like Homecoming has, more people would take interest in going. 

      “Maybe if they added something new to the dance, like a game or activities to do during the dance, instead of just listening to music and taking pictures, more people would attend it,” Sultonova said.

        According to O’ Neill,  the class board will make efforts to have students feel that it is not just a place where you should feel obligated to have a date. Their new theme for  this year’s dance will be “A Night Around the World”. Students will be able to buy tickets as either singles or doubles and everyone is highly encouraged to come and experience it.

          “It’s an opportunity for you to have fun with your friends in a safe, school environment,” O’Neill said. “The goal is to have more students attend the dance.”