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Fresh off the dance floor

Link Crew leads annual freshmen dance
Dancers meet up in the Commons in their purple attire.
Shepard Botz (’27)
Dancers meet up in the Commons in their purple attire.

On Friday, September 8, there was one way to earn free tickets to the first home football game of the season: the freshmen dance. The Southwest Commons were lit up with lights, music, and students showing off their best moves. This annual tradition offers an opportunity for students to connect with peers and student leaders through school spirit and the “Cha Cha Slide.” The snack table was stocked with treats, giving students the energy to dance until they dropped. 

“I liked the purple lights,” Rainer Johnson (‘27) said. 

Dancers meet up in the Commons in their purple attire. Photo credit: Shepard Botz (’27)

“It was nice to see younger students breaking out of their shells to dance with the upperclassmen,” Anna Bomar (‘24), Link Crew leader, said.

Unlike other school dances that prioritize upperclassmen like prom, this after school dance is informal and free. The team that sets it up still made an effort to create a fun aesthetic for dance-goers. Upperclassmen Link Crew leaders encouraged freshmen to make their way to the dance floor and socialize with their peers. 

“I love school dances, this is a great Southwest tradition and it’s amazing to watch the Link Crew include the 9th graders,” Christina Jensen, English teacher and Link Crew advisor, said.

Then came the highlight of the whole evening: Malcom Gifford (‘27) asked for the microphone and proceeded to freestyle rap for all of the people in the commons. A crowd surrounded him as people chanted his name while he proceeded to spit some rhymes. When he finished, everyone was cheering and rowdy. Soon after, more dancing ensued and the free tickets were handed out for the football game.

Malcom Gifford (‘27) soon after his rap performance at the dance. Photo credit: Shepard Botz (’27)

Link Crew leaders walked the freshman down to the football game, bringing all of their Laker pride with them. Upperclassmen showed the freshmen to the student section and taught them all of the best cheers. Though the football team didn’t beat Cooper that night, any Laker that attended the dance, made a new friend, and tried something new walked away a winner. 

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