First Dance To Separate Juniors and Upperclassmen

The first dance of this year will be organized by grades, with Juniors in the Underwood Room and the rest of the school in Borden Gym, according to a decision made by Chris Capano, Student Activities Director, in consultation with the Student Activities Board (SAB). “Starting school here as a new ninth grader is a huge change, and we’re trying to make that change less sudden and jarring… We thought we could have a dance where the ninth graders could meet each other and get to know each other as their ninth grade classmates,” said Capano. He added that the different format of the dance was not a direct consequence of Andover’s recent discussion of its “hook-up culture.” “No one ever said, ‘We have to save these kids from the older kids,’ it was like, ‘Let’s give them a chance to do something on a smaller scale,’ ” said Capano. The idea for a separate dance came up at a weekly Deans Meeting, which includes deans, advisors, Academic Skills Center counselors, Graham House counselors, Isham nurses, adult members of Student Activities and other school officials. Capano then informed the Student Activities Board (SAB) of the suggestion before ultimately deciding to change this week’s dance. “I talked about it with the Student Activities Board last night, and no one seemed to think it was a horrible idea, so we thought we’d try it, and see how it goes,” said Capano. Though the board did not vote on the decision to move the dance, Capano said that he took in their “general mood” as input for his decision. The rest of this year’s dances will not be segregated by grade, and Capano hopes to treat this week’s dance as a trial for a new format in future years. Though the first dance of the year has previously taken place on the first weekend of school, it was replaced this year with the Fall Carnival because Capano decided to have a more open and social first event.