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Chill. It's just a semiformal dance

April 01, 2008|By BRIGITTE GREWE / Pulse Correspondent

While Washington County high school teens get ready to party on the special night of prom, eighth-graders prepare themselves with the annual eighth-grade dance.

One big difference is the middle school dance is semiformal; the high school prom is formal.

Last year at E. Russell Hicks Middle School, some eighth-graders mistakenly thought their dance was a formal dance. Girls had gotten their hair done, rented limos, bought extravagant dresses. Since senior prom was happening during the same time, the dance was confused with the prom.

So what's the real difference between a semiformal and a formal? Here are some differences:

Semiformal

· Girls usually wear knee-length dresses.

· Girls don't have their hair professionally done; they usually just do their hair at home.

· Guys wear dress shirts and pants.

· There are no limos.

· Hall decorations are not extravagantly expensive.

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· Snacks are provided.

Formal

· Girls usually wear full-length prom gowns that come down to their ankles. They are more expensive as well.

· Girls go to salons to get their hair professionally done.

· Guys wear tuxedos.

· Guys buy their dates corsages.

· Limos are rented, or fancy vehicles are used to make a showy entrance.

· There's lots of food.

· Decorations are elaborate and expensive.

Eighth-graders at E. Russell Hicks seem to have learned from last year's misunderstanding. This year's students know the eighth-grade dance is a semiformal dance.

Christina Brogaard, 14, is a member of student government. She knows what our dances are usually like.

"It will be more dressed up than casual," Christina said, "and pictures will be taken."

Harley Harrison, 14, said she will be wearing a knee-length, black dress to the dance.

"There will be some food. Not that much, just snack food and drinks," Harley said. "And hopefully good music."

I asked students what they expected at the dance. Mickey Cunningham, 14, said he expected "music, food, plenty of dancing, drinks and maybe ridiculous games like Pin the Tail on the Donkey."

Tyler Pegher, 13, said "There should be music, people, and junk food. Most likely the DJ will be playing rap and hip hop music most of the time, and I will meet up with my girlfriend at the dance."

If your school is having a dance, be sure to find out the basics - what kind of dance is it (formal or semiformal), what the theme is (if there is one), and what food and activities will be there.

Knowing that, you can't go wrong.

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