The tradition lives on: East freshmen take upperclassmen to the freshman dance


Photo taken by Jenna Simons

Should East continue the tradition of freshmen taking upperclassmen to the freshman dance?

Julia Benedetto, Eastside Staff

Old habits seem to die hard at Cherry Hill East as yet another freshman dance passes by with many freshmen taking upperclassmen as their dates. This tradition of underclassmen asking upperclassmen either to their freshman dance or sophomore cotillion has been around for years. No one is really sure when this unspoken rule was originated or who created it, but a large majority of students seem to follow it. Some see this opportunity as an excuse to talk to and hang out with the upperclassmen, but others see it is an uncomfortable task that creates a painstakingly long night.

Tattiyanna George (‘20) said, “I think it’s a tradition that should be eliminated because it’s awkward for a freshman to have to ask someone who is older than them, and possibly someone they might not know, to the dance. It makes everything a lot more complicated and uncomfortable.”

On the other hand, Nicolette Warrington (‘18) said “I think it’s a fun tradition because it gives the upperclassmen an opportunity to go to all of the dances at East which is what a lot of people try to do.”

Michael Hoffman (‘19) said, “I think upperclassmen only agree to go so that they have an excuse to get all dressed up and go hang out with their friends. I’m not saying that is a bad thing, but I feel like a lot of the time they don’t go because they want to hang out with their dates.”

Hoffman, technically not considered an upperclassmen, was still asked to attend the dance as a freshman’s date. Some freshman may find it easier to ask someone who is only a year older than them to the dance rather than three years older than them.

Megan Muench (‘17) said, “I think it’s a fun tradition that a lot of upperclassmen like taking part in because we only have so much time left at East, so the more we can be involved and experience in our four years here, the better.”

Hoffman, Warrington, and Muench have all been on both sides of this tradition, they have taken an upperclassmen as their own date and have now accompanied an underclassmen as their date.

While different grades seem to perceive this tradition in different ways, at the end of the night, everyone always seems to have a great time. Both upperclassmen and underclassmen can be seen breaking out some moves on the dance floor or taking selfies with their friends. The divide in grade level does not seem to be evident anymore as East students come together to create memorable moments with the little time they have left with one another.