Concord Academy prioritizes balancing students’ interests in order to enrich the high school experience. As such, the junior class hosted Semi Formal on February 11 from 7:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. A dance at CA is not just an excuse to get dressed up but a chance to jump around with friends and feel the floor vibrate under your feet.

Events like Semi Formal were minimal for much of the 2020–2021 school year when COVID-19 was prominent. CA has prioritized incorporating a plethora of progressive events to reconnect, unite, and rekindle community. Leo Cunningham ’25 said, “Coming back from what one could call a glorious victory at the Ethics Bowl, it was really nice to be able to relax and have fun with everyone at the dance.” These events have resulted in the desire to re-engage students in both academic and social events, with the hope that students, whether day or boarding, want to participate. Olivia Wilkinson ’25 communicated her viewpoint on observing day students and boarders. She stated, “it was really nice to see people break out of cliques, especially day students and boarders. Everyone was just having fun.” CA never fails to impress when it comes to balancing academic, athletic, artistic, and social aspects of student life. This year’s Valentine’s-Day-themed Semi Formal was just one of the many social events that is helping to recharge CA’s social battery.

The junior class leaders were tasked with the more tedious job of planning and preparing this event, and as the dance was only three days away from Valentine’s Day, they chose the holiday as the theme. If they so chose, students were allowed to bring a plus one to the dance. 

This year, the songs, decorations, and outfits clearly reflected a youthful and charming approach on Valentine’s Day, as the student body continues finding new ways to spark creativity, harness technology and access events to motivate success. With lights flashing and music thumping, even cautious people were drawn to the middle of the floor when the DJ played “Low” by Flo Rida. You could feel the bass drums through every inch of your body, no homework, no tests in mind. Even with the pressure to pair up for Valentine’s Day, everyone was welcome on the dance floor. Vibrant bursts of colors beamed in the SHAC atrium with a mix of classic pinks, reds, and whites. Abbie Deng ’25 voiced her feelings about the theme and the production of Semi Formal. She expressed, “Semi was a lot of fun! I loved the Valentine’s day theme and meeting everyone’s plus ones. The juniors executed it so well.” Eclectic music promoted feelings of joy and rejuvenation within the community. The night felt never-ending and the students left exhausted after an extensive amount of invigorating dancing.

This year’s Semi Formal served a bigger purpose than incorporating a fun and relaxing dance into the usual academic schedule. It served as a friendly engagement to build a broad inclusive community and trust. Drew Michaeli ’25 spoke about common trust in relation to this year’s Semi Formal. He said, “The Semi Formal dance was a testament to the power of common trust, as both boarding and day students broke down the barriers of their cliques and came together to enjoy a night of unity and celebration.” From this, it is clear that although everyone’s experience with participating in dances are different, there are commonalities such as dancing, laughter, friends, and most importantly, togetherness as a community.