For some it’s laid back, for others extravagant: Students rock out in a barn at this year’s Sadie’s dance

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Costumed students waiting for a bus to bring them to an unknown barn for the yearly Sadie’s dance. The dance, thrown by National Honor Society, had a total of eight buses to transport students from South to the undisclosed location of the dance. With 230 more participants than the previous year, the dance reached its peak attendance in the past couple years. Photo: Izzy Willette

 When you’re riding a school bus for 45 minutes in the dark, it’s hard to know what to expect for your first Sadie Hawkins Dance. Sporting your typical freshman Sadie’s costume, a casual flannel and jeans, Eamonn Brien and his date didn’t know what the night would bring: “It was all sort of mysterious, but I think it’ll be fun.”

The dance thrown by National Honor Society had a total of eight buses to transport students from South to the undisclosed location of the dance in Andover, Minnesota. With 230 more participants than the previous year, the dance reached its peak attendance in the past couple years. Many credit the rise in student attendance to the dances name change from Sadie’s to Fall Costume Fest last year, although it didn’t stick and this year was switched back to Sadie’s. Events officer for NHS Adeline Edwards explains, “we just brought it back to sadies and decided to tell people it’s not a guy girl thing, you can go with friends, you can just do whatever.”

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Inside the barn, students talked with their friends, danced around or waited for the costume contest to commence: Juniors Oliver Elias and Peter Vandersanden were dressed as Mike Wazowski and Sulley Sullivan from the movie Monsters Inc. Vandersanden explained he came to Sadie’s to “Win the costume contest of course, and have a blast.” Photo: Izzy Willette

Even with the switch back to the dance’s classic name, there were some alterations made to the dances iconic traditions. There are still “marriages,” where partners are to hold hands the entire dance, unless separated by the NHS sheriff. In years past this typically meant kissing your partner, on top of a table, with all attendees watching. And although Molly Devore still describes her duties as sheriff as “Ripping people apart and ruining their day,” she also mentioned that “We didn’t wanna do the kissing thing, because we don’t wanna shame people about their sexuality. Sex should not be associated with shame, so were doing other embarrassing things.”

These “embarrassing things” are all too familiar for juniors Jake Olsen and Robera Legese. After being pulled apart, they were to create an original song about howdowns. “They were trying to break us apart,” Legese explained. “It was really fun and interesting, and I developed some nice song singing skills.” And while these acts could be pretty embarrassing, NHS senior secretary Keeler Gonzales explained: “We brainstormed some ideas before, we tried to make them things that like push people a little out of their comfort zones, but not too far.”

Another century old tradition of Sadie’s, which has gotten a little more attention in years past, is the dances costume contest. With only two prizes to be won for each of the two categories – best group and single costume – there’s a pretty slim chance of someone winning.

This didn’t dim the confidence of juniors Oliver Elias and Peter Vandersanden. Elias and Vandersanden were dressed as Mike Wazowski and Sulley Sullivan from the movie Monsters Inc. Vandersanden explained he came to Sadie’s to “Win the costume contest of course, and have a blast.” Senior Marco Dregni, who, after winning the costume contest last year, boasted he was “Bout to win it this year.”

While neither group ended up with the grand prize, the very deserving Cow jumping over the moon duo, and Magic School bus group were determined to be the rightful winners.

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Students wait in line to get foods and treats at the annual Sadie’s dance. The dance, located at a barn, features various activities such as sitting around a bonfire, a costume contest and couples dancing. Photo: Izzy Willette

One thing for sure, this yearly barn dance provides city students with a sense of country living. While some students credited the apple cider and calming bonfires as their favorite part of the evening, sophomore Bailey Thompson credited the horsedrawn hayrides as the best part: “I like the hayride just to look up at the stars because we don’t see that so much in the city.”

With many different activities and a big crowd, freshman Alaiyah Nelson-Tobechukwu described her experience as “big and extravagant,” while Sophomore Jessica Anderson called it “just fun, and laid back.”