Winter formal takes students under the stars


The Catalyst / Clair Sapilewski

Students step out onto the dance floor with their dates and friends.

This year’s winter formal dance happened on Saturday night, March 14, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Foster City. Dance tickets were available for all grades and their invited guests.
Winter formal is an annual tradition at NDB, a high-class formal dance for all classes to enjoy. Between a catered menu, themed decorations and amazing music, making winter formal happen requires a lot of organization and preparation on behalf of the National Honor Society (NHS) and California Scholarship Federation (CSF) boards at NDB.
Because of the recent change in masking guidelines at NDB, masks remained optional during the dance, but proof of a negative COVID-19 test was required for all students and guests upon arrival. This was one of the many pandemic-related changes made to the dance, other than that it was originally intended to take place on February 4, but was postponed due to the rise in COVID-19 cases earlier in the year.
This year’s formal theme was “Under the Stars,” and the dance featured star-shaped balloons and fairy light-filled jars as table centerpieces.
“It was a great night. Everything from the decorations to the food all really enhanced the atmosphere and made for a great experience,” said senior Elle Rau.
A live DJ and plenty of colorful lights also contributed to the atmosphere on the dance floor. Students could submit song requests in the weeks before the dance on a google form, and the DJ also took music requests during the dance.
“I loved the music,” said junior Kayla Hollister. “I kept trying to leave the dance floor, but then a good song would come on, and I would just have to go back.”
The NHS and CSF boards worked hard to piece together every aspect of the dance. They focused on menu planning, decorations, and ticket sales, along with the communication with the Crowne Plaza Hotel to prepare for the event.
“When we were brainstorming the winter formal menu, we knew we wanted to make it special since this was going to be one of the first in-person dances since COVID hit,” said junior Keilee Hane, NHS board member. “We decided to go on theme with Hallmark 5: ‘We embrace the gift of diversity’ to not only bring some of the best foods from around the world to the event, but also to represent the diverse culture found at NDB.”
Some of the highlights of the food tables were the sliders, fruit salad, Nutella cream puffs, caramel brownies and sushi rolls. Students also had access to a soft serve ice cream machine and topping bar, which definitely made the night. The pink lemonade provided was also a big hit.
“I had a lot of fun at winter formal, I’ve actually gone every time the last three years, and I thought this one was much improved even from before COVID,” shared senior Sage Saperstein. “The food was really great, and I just all around had a fun time.”
The classic photo booth was back, this time with a dedicated room. The consistently long line to get a picture taken was a testament to the popularity of the photo booth.
Because this was the first Winter Formal in the last two years, the dance was especially exciting for underclassmen. For many, it was their first true high school dance, and the process of picking out an outfit and preparing for the occasion is something students will always remember.
“I loved the theme and thought it was super fun,” said sophomore Helena Morell. “I’m very glad that we’re able to have those types of events again after the past few years of COVID.”
This year’s dance was one to remember, and the student community is clearly appreciative of the hard work that went into the planning of the event.