by Alex Geffner-Mihlsten

The beginning of the new semester brought romance to the students with the annual winter formal dance on Saturday, Feb. 5.
Every year, the males of each grade invite their female friends or crushes to go to formal with them. The process of getting ready for formal gives students something to look forward to beyond finals.
“I really think that preparing for formal was a nice distraction from finals,” said sophomore Emily Nguyen.
The venue for this year’s formal, held  at Los Angeles’ historic Union Station, had a wide dance floor, with narrow stairs leading to small booths to sit down in.
In the center of the room, there was a small bar where students could order sodas and other drinks. At the top of the stairs, above the room, was the DJ.
“I loved Union Station,” said sophomore Kyla Brooks, “but I think the size of the area that was our “dance floor” for the night was big. Even though it was really nice not to get as sweaty, not having everybody dancing in one packed space kind of brought the energy level down a bit.”
Another issue was that many students did not like the DJ.
Senior Lauren Stoneburner felt that the DJ’s music was too “obscure, outdated, unfamiliar, and overly distorted/remixed.”
One of the reasons many students did not like the music might have been caused by the DJ’s refusal to accept requests.
“The DJ stopped taking requests after he received a few, which was a killer for me. I feel like the DJ is there to make us happy, so he should play what we want to hear,” said Brooks.
Freshman Andres Valencia had an positive experience at the dance, although he shared Brooks’ feelings about the DJ.
Valencia said, “I thought formal was exciting and very enjoyable. The place was just marvelous. Although I had a great time, the DJ could have been a little bit better.”
Junior Jackie Stoneburner’s concern was that the process for voting for formal prince and princess was not made clear. “I didn’t even know I could vote,” she said.
Sophomore Ethan Leff enjoyed the formal’s venue, which continued the theme of a having formal in a historic place, like last year’s location of Dodger Stadium.
“It was an amazing experience to spend the evening in a historical part of L.A.,” said Leff.