Dance season is upon us and it seems like everyday someone is standing in the LHS hallway with an elaborate sign or is posting on Instagram with their date to either Freshmen Frolic, Sophomore Hop, or Junior and Senior Prom. Most students tend to ask upperclassmen except for seniors, of course, who go with people from their own class or choose to take an underclassman. Posters are filled with puns, rhymes, or heartwarming sayings that are sometimes accompanied by a small gift on the side. Although students are technically asking their date, most have already talked to the person who agreed to go. This offers the question, why do they still make a big deal about asking with a poster? Is it tradition? Social pressures? All for fun?
The spark ignites around December of the school year. Many people begin worrying about who they are going to take to their dance and if someone else is already planning to ask the same person as them. Students ask peers from their sports teams, in their classes, or friends who they enjoy talking to and hanging out with. Almost everyone asks an upperclassman as part of a school tradition that has gone back farther than most can remember, while some believe that it originated with the graduating class of 2011. To top it all off, everyone wants someone on their arm who be a good date and will make the night fun and worthwhile.
The wheels are put into motion when the person creating the proposal begins brainstorming how they are going to ask their date. Almost everyone makes a poster with a quotable saying that relates to their date or is something that the pair have in common. Whether short, long, small, or big, most posters include a pun or joke of some sort, ending with the name of the dance that is in question. Some people go over the top with grand gestures that include flowers or food, but others keep it plain and simple with a poster and some candy on the side.
For Morgan Andrade, freshman at LHS, the idea of asking with a poster was simply a “cute idea”. She wanted to do something that was fun and memorable for her date to Frolic. “I looked for inspiration on Pinterest and found some good ideas and made it my own,” says Andrade about her hunt to find the perfect poster quote. Syed Shah, current sophomore, made a poster for his Frolic date during his freshman year because he felt that it was tradition and wanted to keep it alive. “I took her [his junior date, Samantha Jarry] name and tried to see what would rhyme with it, then I came up with ‘I’d be Jarry happy to go to frolic with you’,” Shah described.
Bradley Menard, junior at LHS, asked his date with a poster because he wanted to make her feel special and said that “it honestly gave me a higher chance of her saying yes.” His poster idea grew with the help of his friend, who made sure it was not too corny, and used the internet for inspiration. Another Lincoln student named Angela Kim, a senior at the high school, asked her girlfriend Daniela to their senior prom. “I just wanted to make the proposal memorable and special for the person that I love with all my heart,” she explained. She asked with a rose for every month they had been dating, a huge teddy bear, and a poster to match.
When it came time for Andrade to officially ask her junior date, Giorgio Nunez, she was extremely nervous. “It was kind of awkward because I've never done it before, but it was a nice feeling when they were happy with it.” For Shah, he was surrounded by friends and teachers as he asked his date. “Most of them were recording so I was kind of nervous,” he confessed, just like Andrade had.
Menard described the moment when he went up to his best friend Hannah with the proposal, saying, “I was nervous and I really was hoping that she liked the poster and was happy to go. I had a ton of anxiety, but once it was all over I was very happy.” Kim also described the moment when she asked, explaining, “I had butterflies in my stomach the whole time and I am so happy with how it all turned out and my friends helped me with the whole thing so I am very thankful.” It seems that the closer you are with your date, the easier it gets to ask them.
Both Shah and Andrade agree that making a big deal about asking someone with a poster is not imperative. “It’s cute but as long as it’s someone you care about it will still mean a lot,” says Andrade. She believes that even though it’s not necessary, asking your date with a poster is worth it because you are making them happy and showing your appreciation for them while fabricating a memorable moment for the two of you. Shah adds, “It’s fun to ask and there’s nothing wrong with it, so I don’t see why not to go through with it.”
“It’s better to ask with the poster or some nice gesture because it makes your date feel special and it’s a much more memorable experience,” explains Menard. It looks like most students either ask with a poster to keep the tradition going or because it creates a fun and meaningful memory with their date. No matter the motive behind the proposal or how it is expressed or drawn out, the fact that someone is even choosing you to take with them is extremely flattering. Dance proposals are just one way to connect with your date, show off artistic skill or creativity, and set in stone an official partner on one of the most exciting and hyped up occasions of the school year.