Baby, Do You Like My Sweater?

If you are familiar with the Relient K song “The Sadie Hawkins Dance,” you understand the headline. The Student Government Association has put on the first organized dance on campus! At about 8 PM on Friday, March 30th, a fairly simple scenario was laid out in the school gym: multiple hay bales next to lattice work, and streamers—a decently constructed western atmosphere.  The most decorative part of the event, however, was the collection of aptly dressed attendees. Plaid shirts, braids, cowboy/girl boots, jeans, overalls, big belt buckles, and much more. I thought I had dressed up pretty well until I saw everyone else! As I walked in to see all of these decorated individuals, I heard the line dance callers playing songs like, The Macarena, Electric Slide, and The Salty Dog Rag. There were many others, of course, but I admit I don’t remember the names because I was too busy dancing! Oh, and did I mention the food? There were snow cones, watermelon slices, sodas, and large amounts of popcorn. I don’t think anyone left hungry unless it was on purpose.

The simple line dances in the beginning gave way to more complex maneuvers in which partners were either immediately chosen by free will or predestined by the status of “dance partners” for the night (more about that later). Before each dance, the line dance callers Matthew Temples and Romona Stowe of “Habersham Squares” taught the crowd how to carry out steps in order to help those who did not know what they were doing (like me) to learn rather quickly. In my favorite dance, two partners holding hands started off by taking two steps to the left, two to the right, one to the left, one to the right, and then a partner-spin to the left, back, and then switch partners and start over! As the dances progressed into the night, more and more people came to enjoy them. I’d say there were approximately eighty people on the dance floor by 9:00 PM. That’s crazy awesome.

To continue the trend of going against tradition, not only was this the first dance on campus, but it was also a Sadie Hawkins Dance.  The defining trait of a Sadie Hawkins dance is that instead of the guys asking the gals, the gals asked the guys. I don’t know how the “gals” felt about this, but the guys got a lucky break this time. SGA took advantage of this, and held a “most creative way to ask out your guy” contest for the girls. Emily Woodmaster won by asking her guy out via a poster put up in the Student Center for all who passed by to see.

Fittingly, there was a “best dressed” contest as well. Who looked the most western? Well, after a process of seeing which “best-dressed” candidate was cheered for the loudest, the crowd determined that Gabe Martin was the Best Dressed for the night. Martin was dressed in a cowboy boot (the other foot was in a brace), jeans, a black button down shirt with a Sherriff’s badge on it, and a red scarf.

So what’s the explanation of all this? Why put on a dance for the first time on TFC campus? Well, I asked SGA vice president Emily Ambrose what her reasons were for planning and organizing the Sadie Hawkins dance; she replied that “It was so important to have this event – and plenty [of] student participation – because we needed to show that an alteration to the current dancing policy is something students want.” Ambrose believes that TFC students can be trusted to use the wisdom and discernment gained at this college “in all facets of life, including social functions.”

So was SGA’s decision a good one? Did the students really enjoy the dance, and was it profitable to carry out the idea? Instead of trying to summarize, I’ll just let a few of the attendees speak for themselves: Tiffany Hartis said, “This is the best thing the school has ever done.” After asking Tiffany, I stole Jessie Brewer off of the dance floor for a few seconds, and she replied to my question, “I’ll tell you as soon as I catch my breath!” Hannah Oliver revealed her surprise, yet contentment towards the dance, saying, “This wasn’t what I thought it would be, but that’s totally understandable. It’s really good.” Jeremy Adcock thought “the dance was a lot of fun”, and Sarah Sharpe said “it’s wonderful.” Alex Waddell said “I loved it! I think we should do this a lot more often!” I asked Clessie Kendrick what she thought on the way out, just to get the humorous response, “This was better than I thought it would be. And I shimmied!” Hannah Lee said “This is great”, and I myself thoroughly enjoyed it.

It appears, then, that these few opinions gathered, along with all of the smiling faces (that you’ve probably seen on Facebook) constitute good evidence that this dance was a good idea. Of course, let’s not be ignorant: it’s not as if dances were disallowed on campus in earlier years because school administration wanted all TFC students to be miserable (as some may postulate). It was for the sake of preventing students from stumbling in pursuing God. As the Apostle Paul said, ‘“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.’ Can we, as a student body, use these dances as events that work to encourage fellowship and having a great time rather than causing us to stumble in our pursuit of God, as SGA trusts us to do? If so, then these dances are certainly a good idea. Let’s use our opportunities wisely, and hope for more exciting events like this in the future.