Sequins, Heels & Dates– Oh My!


AOSE students on the Panther Den dance floor

Chengli Payton '25

Sequined dresses, higher-than-high heels, and last-minute hair appointments were the talk of the week leading up to Friday, February 25. No, it was not a fashion show, not Valentine’s Day, not a sweet sixteen celebration. This was the disco-themed “Beth Ball,” a semi-formal dance almost lost to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The days before “semi” were very exciting – manicure appointments and accessory shopping galore! On the day of the dance, classes were held virtually due to snow, making the day even more memorable. Finally, when 7PM arrived, girls and their dates flooded the Academy. Some girls showed up in fashionably fitted dresses: glittery, floral, pastel.  Others like Daniela Tinajero ‘25 donned a different vibe– heels, a white blouse and a chic black suit. Initially, Daniela was concerned about the size of the school: “How were they going to fit so many people in?” but the Study Hall and the Panther Den offered more than enough room. The brightly-lit Study Hall had exciting disco decor, a backdrop for pictures, and seating for guests– hungry and tired from dancing.  The Panther Den was energetic, dark, and crowded. Upbeat party songs filled the air and disco lights reflected on the walls. The music was not anything out of the ordinary, but Daniela jokingly admitted that her favorite part of semi was the DJ.

At 10 p.m. the dance was over.  Hugs and goodbyes were exchanged.  As Daniela aptly put it, “I got to meet new people that now I’m good friends with.”  That is the way that semi should be: energetic, chaotic, joyous, filled with good memories, and–especially important for AOSE freshmen–new friendships.