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Just about everyone knows someone who has been bullied, in ways big and small. Understandably, though, many victims are reluctant to speak about their experiences. We found some who aren't.
BY DIANNE LEE, Berkeley Prep
Many Tampa Bay area schools hold their Sadie Hawkins dances, where traditionally the girls invite the guys, near Valentine’s Day. But this year Berkeley Preparatory School is mixing it up: Its Sadie Hawkins dance is tonight, the day before winter break. In honor of Sadie, and in the hope the advice will serve thousands in February, tb two* looks at the daunting question: “How do I ask someone to Sadie?” Three Berkeley Prep students relate their experiences. Hint: this advice is good for girls AND guys.
TIP #1: Be confident
Candy canes and math class. These were the two things junior Morgan Brazel knew she wanted to use in her invitation. The prom committee had been delivering candy cane orders all week as part of a fundraiser. Every time Morgan received one, her date- to-be, junior Jon Ayers, would mention how no one had sent him any. “So I knew I wanted to do something with candy canes to make him happy.”
Plus, she wanted to get back at him for inviting her to homecoming in front of her entire softball team. She thought math class would be perfect. The day of the ask, her teacher and classmates helped delay her date until everything was finished. Three white boards decorated with candy canes and a huge “Sadie?” written in red marker greeted him. Morgan was thinking: “What if he says no? What if he hates it?”
No worries. “Everything turned out great, and he loved it.”
Morgan’s advice? “Be confident. There’s really no point in being nervous, because then you’ll just start thinking about everything that could go wrong. Just have fun with it.”
TIP #2: Just do it!
Freshman Ally Arcaro took a slightly different but no less creative approach. She and her date, sophomore Michael DeBellis, were in the same Performance Arts class together, so she decided to invite him to Sadie during one of the class improvisation games. In an improv game, a student is given a line to start the scene, and from there the group improvises. With the help of her teacher and a friend, the game began: “What’s that over there?” the friend asked. “What? You mean this?” Ally replied, taking her Sadie invitation sign from its hiding spot. He said “yes.” Later, Ally admitted, “My friends had asked him about it so I knew he would say yes, but it was still nerve-wracking to go up in front of people.”
Ally’s advice: “Although it can be scary, you just have to do it, or else you’ll regret it later!”
TIP #3: Be yourself
It is also possible to ask someone without elaborate planning. Freshman Layla Ghiai was nervous. “I’m not the most outgoing person, so asking someone to a dance was hard for me.” At first, Layla planned to give her date, freshman Jake Meyer, chocolate after popping the question, but she eventually rejected scenarios involving candy. Finally, it was the Friday before exams began. Layla knew she wouldn’t have time to ask her date any other day. “I wanted to forget about the whole thing,” she said, “but my friends helped me get his attention.” She asked him. He smiled, and said “yes.” Maybe casual was the way to go after all.
Layla’s advice: Be yourself. “Don’t think about it as much of a big deal as I did. Make sure not to lose your own personal flair.”
Smooth moves survey
In honor of Sadie Hawkins and other high school dances everywhere, tb-two* conducted a completely unscientific survey of Tampa Bay high school students about dance move preferences. O-O-Oppan Gangnam style! (Dance key below)
1. Which of the following dance moves is your favorite?
Horse Dance (from Oppan Gangnam Style): 35 percent
Shuffling: 9 percent
The Wobble: 35 percent
The Worm: 17 percent
The Robot: 4 percent
2. Which of the following dance moves would you actually perform in public?
Horse Dance (from Oppan Gangnam Style): 39 percent
Shuffling: 17 percent
The Wobble: 30 percent
The Worm: 4 percent
The Robot: 9 percent
A) Horse Dance (from Oppan Gangnam Style): Variations on a move that makes it look like you’re riding a horse.
B) Shuffling: You march, sidestep, and twist your legs to a rhythm.
C) The Wobble: Step back and forward, turn right and left, all the while shaking your body.
D) The Worm: You lie on the ground and move your body in a wave motion (see picture).
E) The Robot: Move your body as if you are a robot, with sudden stops and unnatural arm movements.
Photo caption: Plant High sophomore Morgan Robinson and Robinson sophomore Hayden Jennewein demonstrate the Worm. Photo by Dianne Lee | Berkeley Prep