The annual Exeter Summer Upper School dance took place in Grainger Auditorium last Saturday.

Most of the gentlemen were dressed up in collared shirts and long pants. Meanwhile, the ladies wore flowy summer dresses and adorned themselves in simple jewelry. Passionate students, however, were decked out in formal attire; the young men complete with ties and jackets, hand in hand with their glamorous dates in detailed gowns.

The preparation for the dance was very vigorous, especially for the females. Spa Day at Merrill Hall was strategically scheduled one day before the dance to ensure that the girls were perfectly coiffed for the special night. Nail polish bottles, face masks, and lotion were spread across the Common Room. Girls lay on their stomachs, drawing henna on each other’s palms, and painting another’s nails. Others relaxed with cucumbers resting on the wells of their eyes.

By 8:30 p.m., huge groups of friends were flocking to the venue, excited to dance their night away. The dance started gradually, but as more people showed up, the energy quickly intensified throughout the room. The majority seemed to agree.

“It is cool but it takes time,” said Eric Amyot. “It’s awkward at the beginning but it takes time to adjust to it.”

Mason Otley had similar things to say about it. “It’s a slow start. But as more kids showed up, it got more fun.”

People agree that Owen Seiner’s remark practically summed up the dance: “There was just those who liked the dance, and people who did not. There was really no in between.”

For most, the biggest disappointment was the DJ. This is evident as many of the complaints seemed to circle around the quality and choice of music. The song Despasito by Luis Fonsi was played around three times at the dance. Although the song Sandstorm, a classic EDM song, was played at the beginning of the dance to increase the level of energy in the room, no other desired EDM songs were played. 

“The DJ was decent,” said Shane Better. “He tried.” Nevertheless, the songs were in fact nice to dance to. Andy Chang later mentioned, “The DJ was creating vibrancy through the dance and the music was easy to dance to.”

Because Exeter Summer is packed with students from all over the world with contrasting backgrounds, there were various reactions to the dance. “This is the most different dance I’ve seen,” said Francesca McAllister. “Because in Colombia, the dances are much more pumped.”

In spite of the different perspectives, many students stayed until the last song, proving that they were indeed enjoying their time. As the night grew later, people certainly became more enlivened. More than halfway through the night, Zaleik commented: “I think’s getting lit. It’s a good environment to meet more people.”

Socializing seemed to be a huge element of the event. People danced in huge groups, not minding the heat buildup. Sweaty bodies flipped and jumped around the dance floor, galloping to the beat.

“The dance is a very memorable experience,” said Andy Chang. “And was a great way to socialize.” Kayla Core seemed to agree. “It was an interesting experience, due to a lot of people weren’t dancing. But once you find that group that dances with you, it completely changes your perspective.”

Aside from the dance itself, the snacks also appeared to be satisfactory. The colorful packaging of Airheads and Jolly Ranchers brightened the tables outside the auditorium. Vivid Swedish Fishes swam inside the neutral colored bowls, tempting hungry Upper Schoolers.

Across from the food were huge plastic barrels containing drinks which seemed to do a good job quenching people’s thirst. “They had really good drinks,” recalled Alicia Wheeler. “Ice tea and like, Gatorade. That was really good.”

Even though many protested against the selection of music, the environment was filled with an overall positive and energetic spirit. Sparked with energy, the majority had fun while making new friends. With new and fun memories piling atop one another, the last two weeks of Exeter Summer will certainly pass by in a breeze.

“I can’t believe how quickly time flew by in three weeks,” said Andy Chang, “These last two weeks will be the most momentous.”