The winter dance: planning and execution


Leona Barocas

ENCHANTED. Sarina Charpentier stands in front of the dance floor at the Lowertown event enter in the midst of colorful lights.

On the night of February 26, 2022, magic sprung upon the Lowertown Event Center in St. Paul with the annual SPA winter dance. With the decrease in COVID-19 cases and changes to certain policies, such as no longer requiring proof of vaccination or negative test results, the dance looked like an opportunity for some students for a night of socialization, dancing, and fun. But how did the dance actually go, and how did it compare to the planning behind it?

Senior Ellie Murphy, the SAC co-president, felt that despite the challenges, the planning for the dance went smoothly overall.

“The biggest thing was finding a venue, which was a little bit difficult, but we found the Lowertown Event Center pretty quickly, which was great. Then we had to figure out the financial aspect of planning, as well as getting catering and finding out how they handled COVID-19,” Murphy said.

Murphy claims that the extra time for planning the winter dance helped with finding the venue, alongside managing the activities and catering. However, COVID-19 was another important factor during planning, something that SAC had a minor degree of influence over.

“The administration decides the safety aspect of dances. We [SAC] just figure out food, activities, DJs, and whatnot. But, the main thought was that people are going to be dancing together in a pretty confined room, and that’s a lot of shared airways, and it was just kind of a safety thing where we wanted people to have the opportunity to go to the dance and feel safe.” Murphy said.

However, SAC did have power over the finances of the dance. To fund the venue, catering, and DJs, SAC relies on a budget given to the organization alongside ticket sales. The committee then decides the ticket prices based off of both the total costs of the dance, alongside the projected ticket sales based on previous dances. According to Murphy, it’s possible that a majority of the dance is funded by ticket sales.

But how did the planning compare to the execution? Overall, the biggest challenge then was parking.

“Parking was just done in the city, so people had to operate the Skyway system. And we hadn’t gone to the venue beforehand. So there were two parking ramps that the Dean sent an email about, but I think there was still some miscommunication. It was a journey to get there. It was mostly a little bit hard to find, mainly because it was in a one room in a bigger building that was rented out for other events, and there wasn’t anything like a sign that said ‘Lowertown Event Center,’” Murphy said.

However, Murphy still believes the dance went well overall.

“I would say that the dance actually went really smoothly. Being on the planning end can be kind of stressful, because it’s like ‘Where are people going?’ and ‘Oh, if the music is bad people want to leave early,’ but I think the dance was executed pretty smoothly. Everyone that I’ve talked to had fun. The teachers that were chaperoning were great, and making sure everyone was safe.”

Despite all the trials and tribulations, SAC managed to pull through and host a great event.

This story has been updated by deleting pre-dance interviews about what people thought would happen and interviews with Student Activities Committee have been added.