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From dreams to a dance: Horizon’s Winter Wonderland connects charter school students

Horizon Charter School students kick-up a storm at the Winter Wonderland dance.
Hannah Dolcini
Horizon Charter School students kick-up a storm at the Winter Wonderland dance.

As winter break began to wrap up, Horizon Charter School middle and high schoolers prepared for a first-ever event aimed at increasing personal connections among students: the Winter Wonderland Dance. 

Students took part in dancing festivities to form bonds with one another, without having a computer screen get in the way. 

HCS has many classes online, and students often communicate with their peers through chats and Zoom meetings. The purpose behind events such as the Winter Wonderland Dance is to provide students more opportunities to interact in person.

Prior to the dance, the school’s Leadership Club spent months hard at work to ensure it succeeded. 

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Organizing a central location that was easily accessible, obtaining allergy-friendly foods, figuring out lay-outs of the dance, and marketing it to students were all important stepping stones to making this event a reality. 

Haley Barrett, the head organizer of the Winter Wonderland Dance and an HCS senior, reflected on her experience overseeing the dance and the honor that came with it. “I felt very honored when our president of leadership nominated me to oversee everything,” Barret said. “Even though I didn’t know what I was doing half the time, I figured out what I wanted to discuss in each meeting we had for the Winter Wonderland Dance.”

Barret said being in charge of the entire dance came with many responsibilities and stress.

The HCS Leadership Team posing for a group photo. .

“It was very stressful,” she said. “Leading up to the dance, like the night before, I wasn’t stressed until I started wanting the next day to be perfect. Of course, it didn’t really go according to plan, but it still turned out amazing.”

After months of planning, organizers still felt unease over different components and bumps along the road. 

“There were some times that I was definitely worried about not getting something done,” said Jack Thomason, the food committee lead. “Not receiving an email back from the stores we were asking for donations from was annoying, but not a huge setback.” 

Amia Delgado, who was in charge of promotions and marketing, said that other than supplies themselves, there were other stress factors.

“The only thing I was stressed about was that if we had a bad turnout I would have been blamed either by myself or someone else in Leadership for not doing a good enough job of making sure the dance was known,” Delgado said.  

Organizers said good communications and support from Leadership Club advisor Katie Scott helped them overcome the challenges they faced along the way.

“It was pretty easy for me because Mrs. Scott wanted to be the one to make the purchases,” Thomason said. “It wasn’t very stressful, thanks to the communication and the work of the people in Leadership and Mrs. Scott … I’m very thankful.”

All of the hard work paid off, said the organizers, who deemed the event a success. The Winter Wonderland Dance is now slated to be an annual event at Horizon Charter. 

“It was a lot of work, and it took a lot of planning and organization, but it was so worth it in the end,” Leah Wong, a lead on the entertainment committee, said. “Seeing all our hard work and collaboration as a leadership club pay off during the dance was such an amazing experience. …Through the dance planning, I was able to make more connections with people I hadn’t previously worked with before.”

An ornament filled with table centerpieces surrounded by skittles and pinecones.

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About the Contributor
Saffiya Sheikh
Saffiya Sheikh, Reporter
Hello! My name is Saffiya Sheikh and I currently attend Horizon Charter School. I love the arts, like musical theater or drawing. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends as well.
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