An Independent School • Grades 5-12
Lakeside dances FAQ
Lakeside dances FAQ

Please note that the Middle School dance is Friday, Dec. 14, not Friday, Dec. 7. 

What are Lakeside dances? 
Both Lakeside Middle and Upper schools hold dances throughout the year to provide students with opportunities for fun community-building and connection. Dances offer students a social context different from what they encounter in classes, on teams, and in performance groups. They also offer students coming from around the region opportunities to spend non-school time together.

The Middle School hosts four dances each year. Three are for 7th- and 8th-grade students, and the final dance in the spring is for 6th- and 7th-grade students. The dances are organized and chaperoned by Middle School faculty and staff. The PGA plays a support role by providing refreshments and beverages, and staffing those tables during each dance. Upon check-in at a dance, students turn in their cell phones. They are allowed to check them for messages from parents and guardians at the turn-in station throughout the dance. Students should be picked up promptly at 10 p.m. Should a parent or guardian wish to pick up their child early, a chaperone can assist them.

At the Upper School, there are two types of dances: semiformal (Winter Ball and Spring Fling) and casual (typically two in the fall and one in the winter). Semiformal dances are sponsored by either the junior or senior classes and are fundraisers for their senior events. The casual dances are sponsored by programs on campus, such as affinity and alliance groups.

Where do Lakeside dances take place?
All Middle School dances take place in the Middle School gym. 

Upper School dances occur on campus in the Wright Community Center, with the exception of the Spring Fling, which is held at an off-campus venue. This location changes each year and is chosen by the senior class representatives.

Do students dress up for Lakeside dances? How formal?
Middle School students wear all sorts of attire to dances. The expectation is that clothing still adheres to the dress guidelines as laid out in the family handbook (page 32). 

At Upper School casual dances, students come in clothes that are usually not much (or any) different from what they wear to school. For the semiformal dances, there is a range of student dress, including shirts and jackets, suits and ties, and dresses. What is comfortable and feels appropriate for each student is a matter of personal choice. 

Do Lakeside dances require tickets?
Neither Upper or Middle School dances require tickets, however, Upper School students' accounts are charged for attendance. Casual dances typically cost $8-10, and semiformal dances cost $30-35. Financial aid applies to dance admissions fees. 

Can non-Lakeside students attend Lakeside dances?
Non-Lakeside students cannot attend Middle School dances.

Lakeside students may bring a guest to Upper School dances following a sign-up and approval process. There is a limit of 30 guests per dance. A guest dance form becomes available to Lakeside students a week or two before the dance. This form requires the Lakeside parent or guardian's signature, and a portion to be completed by the guest's school administrator. Guests also need to bring their school ID card to the dance.

Do students get together beforehand?
Before Middle School dances, some students gather at off-campus locations. These gatherings are not organized by the school, and parents and guardians are asked to consider the Middle School's "small or all" guidelines

At the Upper School, pre-dance gatherings vary. It is common before semiformal dances for students to get together in a group and do something—dinner, games, a movie—but that is not expected or required. Some students prefer to come alone, in pairs, or in groups, and/or without the additional pre-dance activities.

Who should students ask if they have questions about dances? Who should parents and guardians ask? 
Middle School students should come to Ted Chen, Middle School assistant director, with any questions. 

Upper School students should see advisors, older students, grade-level coordinators, or any of the Upper School administrators with questions. Administrators will occasionally send additional information to students and families before dances, including an upcoming email from Upper School Director Felicia Wilks regarding Winter Ball. 

Upper and Middle school parents and guardians should start with their student's advisor and if they have questions that go beyond an advisor level, they should contact an administrator.