Letter to the editor: In defense of the Friendship dance

An Open Letter to the Kirkwood High School Student Body:

All right, everyone. Enough is enough. You, the students of Kirkwood High School (KHS), do not have a “Homecoming Dance.” Homecoming dances coincide with a “Homecoming” football game, and we do not have one of those either and that’s okay. KHS is a unique place and without our traditions/community we are just another indistinguishable and anonymous social aggregate.

The Friendship Dance has been around longer than 99% of your grandparents, however, it may well die with you if you do not change your collective mindsets. While the historical significance of the dance is enough to warrant its continued existence (it’s been around since 1939 and was meant to cool rivalrous tensions of the time), it is worth noting that this dance has a potentially greater value than the history by which it was born.

In the Friendship Dance, you possess something that only one other group of people (WGHS) grads/students) possess. This tradition is authentically ours. Is that not worth something? In the age of social media and nauseating connectivity, I understand that you are inundated with stories, reelz, snaps, etc. of people you know (and frankly a lot of people you do not know) enjoying their Homecoming traditions. You want to take part… but why? If the reason is that “everyone else has Homecoming” let us just say that’s poor logic.

Sadly, the amount of authenticity left in our society is dwindling. Go to any high school across this country and do you know what you’ll find: the same recycled, reproduced, vapid, and mass media-fueled Homecoming celebrations. Traditions only last as long as people value them and pass them on from one generation to the next. We have already lost the Sock Hops (after home football game dances), Hatchet Hop, Toga Day, Pioneer Day, and Majic Market. The Friendship Dance is an integral part of the Turkey Day tradition (the oldest high school rivalry west of the Mississippi) and we will not let it go silently into the night.

*Please stop pining for HOCO it looks kind of desperate

Yours in Friendship,

  • Scott Vouga (KHS, 2004)
  • Lucas Ravenscraft (KHS, 2003)
  • Hallie Moon (KHS, 2006)
  • Amy McBride Barker (KHS, 1988)
  • Lauren Green (KHS, 2004)
  • Lynn Travis Kavanaugh (KHS, 1989)
  • Elizabeth Hill Wright (KHS, 1985)
  • Ellen Wood Kraichely (KHS, 1990)
  • Carolyn Longshaw Fogarty (KHS, 1991)
  • Willie Parks (KHS, 1992)
  • Katie Hall (KHS, 1999)
  • Julie Johnson (KHS, 1986)
  • Julie Schmidt (KHS, 1980)
  • Lindsay Amen (KHS, 2003)
  • Katie Drexler (KHS, 2014)