The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Ever-Changing Winter (Spring) Ball

The view from the rooftop at The Observatory at America’s Square in downtown DC. The Spring Dance will be held there on April 22 (Naomi Breuer/International Dateline)

Instead of the annual Winter Ball, Upper School students will enjoy a Spring Ball on April 22.

The dance was originally scheduled to take place on Feb. 5. Due to the large number of COVID cases at the time, ISU elected to postpone it to the spring. Cases were expected to be lower, and have been so.

The preliminary plan for the dance was to be outside the Carriage House on the Academic Walkway, where the Homecoming dance took place. Most of ISU went along with this plan and figured it would be too difficult to change. However, junior representative Maia Nehme and ISU Co-President Beka Tatham pushed for outside of school venues.

“Because that’s so similar to homecoming, [Tatham] and I were really frustrated by that,” Nehme said. “We were like, ‘Okay, we’re going to find a venue that works.’ So that’s what we’ve been trying to do over the past couple weeks.”

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One of the administration’s concerns was that renting outside venues would involve paying a deposit. This deposit could be lost if the school had to move the date of the dance again. 

After Nehme, Tatham and ISU Co-President Ander Petri-Hidalgo toured several outside venues, they decided that the dance would be held at the rooftop of The Observatory at America Square. Students have to pay $30 for tickets, which takes into account costs for the venue and food, such as desserts and light hors d’oeuvres, according to an email sent out by Tatham.

The administration chose a rooftop location so the dance would take place outdoors. This choice was made to ensure students’ safety, since the administration could not predict the COVID cases on the day of the dance. 

The school will be following the DC Health guidelines for COVID precautions, so masking will not be required. “I have never had to plan a dance and check the Department of Health and Human Services and their regulations,” Grades 9/10 Assistant Principal and ISU Faculty Advisor Allison Ewing said.

Ewing’s role during the planning process was to work with what ISU wanted and say if their ideas were feasible or not. However, she explained that she always wants dances to be mostly student driven.

“It’s a dance for students,” she said. “So we want the student input and voice in it as much as possible.”

Events Manager Marcela Churchill has also been involved in the process of organizing the dance. She has been helping to figure out the logistics of the event itself and what will be needed, such as decorations, food and cutlery. 

Some seniors are frustrated that the dance will be taking place a week before the IB exams and only a month before Prom. However, there are many factors beyond the control of ISU that Nehme wishes students were aware of, such as conflicts with field trips, school events and holidays.

“When ISU makes decisions, we’re not just making it and not listening to people’s feedback,” she said. “We understand those concerns about IB exams or being too close to Prom. But at the same time, there [are] so many logistical struggles.”

In Tatham’s email to the students, she emphasized ISU’s dedication to giving the students a fun dance after two years of missing out on events.

“We are conscious that we have all missed out on several dances and events due to COVID-19, and wanted to make the most of this opportunity,” she wrote. 

By Naomi Breuer

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About the Contributor
Naomi Breuer
Naomi Breuer, Editor-in-Chief
I am Editor-in-Chief of Dateline this year. As a junior last year, I was a Publications Editor and Middle School News Advisor. As a sophomore, I was WIS News Editor, and Arts Editor as a freshman. Other than Dateline, I enjoy baking, playing guitar, biking and participating in Model UN.

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