Photo by Mason Warner ’20 | Brophy and Xavier students dance at Hoopcoming Jan. 20. Dances are planned out through a process of budgeting and conversation with vendors and entertainment.
By Tyler Conrad ’17
Dances are often a highlight of highschool for many students, but what is frequently looked over about these events is the months of work that goes into ensuring a fun and safe time.
Mr. Pete Burr ’07 said that the wheels start turning for major dances as early as the Student Council retreat in August.
“It’s [the retreat], about 30 hours, and we essentially plan the big picture of the entire semester in those 30 hours,” he said.
Due to other high schools planning similar dances around the same time, Mr. Burr said it is important to book certain elements of the dance, such as DJs and vendors, in advance.
In recent years, major dances such as Prom, Homecoming and Hoopcoming have fallen on the same weekend every year.
“We try to do our best to fit in pretty regular timelines for when Prom is going to be,” Mr. Burr said.
However, scheduling is only the beginning of event planning; Mr. Burr said where a lot of the responsibility falls is in budgeting.
“We have really elaborate budget sheets and thorough conversations in class about what is worth the money,” he said. “Students are really working through fairly complex contract issues, and having great conversations with vendors on how they can save money and re-work things.”
Student Council member Bryson Leander ’17 said there are many companies Student Council works with for larger dances.
“For bigger dances like Hoopcoming or Prom, we meet with a company called Satyr, and we use a company called Cre8ive for publicity and marketing,” he said. “Satyr basically puts on everything for us, and we meet with them multiple times to finalize different prices and figure out lighting, sound, anything that goes on in the dance. We have the vision, they have the execution.”
Mr. Burr said that despite the professional nature of financial planning, students have no problem taking charge.
“Sometimes I see the final contract, and students have to sell me after spending weeks working on it, and all I say is ‘that sounds awesome,’” he said.
Profitable dances make it possible for Student Council to plan other activities throughout the year.
“The reality is that Student Council is self sufficient, we don’t have any funding from the school other than what we make from our own events,” Mr. Burr said. “When we give away all those March Madness prizes for free, that’s because we made enough money off an event to do that.”
Once all financial plans are set in stone, students spend the day before an event helping with setup.
“On Friday we start setting up, there will be a few guys who set up all the sound and the lights, and vendors will set themselves up on their own,” Leander said.
The organization also has a consistent conservation going with the Dean’s office to ensure all dances meet school standards.
“There is consistent conversation about how we can meet in the middle about we can make sure people want to come to Brophy on a Friday or Saturday night, but still that is a safe event,” Mr. Burr said.