On Saturday, February 10, the junior class hosted the annual Semi-Formal Dance, an event often overlooked in favor of the more notorious or illustrious school events. Yet, its simplicity may just be the dance’s saving grace. Semi-Formal allows Concord Academy students to do what Concord Academy students do best: have fun in community. Because of course, students cherish their love of learning in these hallowed halls but who does not also harbor a love of dancing the night away, arm in arm with friends, Oreos, and sodas in hand?

Here is a bit of trivia newer community members might not know: the junior class used to choose a different semi-formal theme every year. Back then, the dance took place closer to the start of the second semester and served as a re-introduction to community fun. However, after COVID-19 canceled 2021’s Semi-Formal, the 2022 dance was postponed to February as student and faculty leaders hoped to bring back the tradition after the COVID spike characteristic of the weeks around Winter Break due to high volumes of travel. This placed the date of the dance on Valentine’s Day weekend, and while that year’s juniors imposed an “80s” theme, the date change stuck and inspired the class of 2024 to shape their Semi Formal into a Valentine-themed bash. It seems the tradition has stuck, and in an unoriginal but undeniably successful move, the class of 2025 selected a Valentine’s theme. Only time will tell whether Semi-Formal will permanently become a February, red white, and pink love fest.

Coincidently, this year’s Semi Formal fell on another holiday: the Lunar New Year. This holiday marks the start of the Lunar calendar and is most commonly celebrated in Eastern and South Eastern Asian cultures. To incorporate festivities into the semi-formal event, juniors hosted a catered pre-semi Chinese dinner feast. Entry was complimentary with the purchase of a semi-formal ticket. The meal was a hit—if there is one thing a teenager will always appreciate, it is a buffet of food—and allowed for friends to gather and fuel up before the dancing began. The pre-dinner was a lovely and thoughtful addition to the Semi-Formal program.

When it was finally time for the dance, however, the Valentine’s Day theme grew ever more blatant. Students clad in a myriad of rosy shades huddled outside the SHAC wherein dividers blocked off a large section of the gym, creating the illusion of a much smaller room. These fences were thoroughly decorated with red, pink, and white streamers and red heart-shaped balloons (whose constant popping throughout the night caused plenty a scare). A photo station consisting of a pink metallic streamer backdrop and an arch of balloons was set up in the far corner for friends to pose for commemorative pics with various themed props. Another welcome addition to this year’s Semi was the confetti-filled balloons that showered the crowd in color at various opportune beat drops and choruses.

In recent years, Semi Formal has settled comfortably into a new identity and grown into a confident staple in CA culture. Overall, 2024’s Semi Formal was a fun-filled, successful event that brought the school together in high spirits. Congrats to the junior class for pulling off an incredible night, and the community can no’ wait to see how this dance continues to evolve!