By Megan Hartsell

Student Reporter

Each year at the end of January, the ECS National Honor Society hosts one of the few middle school dances as a main fundraiser.

Previously the “6th grade moving up dance,” in which the 6th grade class is transitioned from elementary students to middle school students — a tradition which has been phased out — the school opting to consider 6th graders as middle school students for the entirety of the year.

Students in NHS, myself included, help each year to put the dance on, which raises money for annual service projects for the organization. At $5 dollars per ticket, more than 70 students were in attendance, bringing the total profit from the dance to more than $350. 

Setting up for the dance is quite simple: a sound system, streamers and balloons were quick and easy components to set up, which satisfy the needs of a middle school dance. Even though the balloons were all popped in the first 30 minutes, they were still a nice touch while they lasted.

There was a quite obvious divide among grade levels, with 6th graders sticking together to the right of the cafeteria, 7th graders in the middle and 8th graders to the left. As with any middle school dance, the fair share of drama transpired, over whom everyone was slow-dancing with, hair, outfits and more. 

It seemed as though by the by 9 o’clock, the 8th grade students had experienced their fill of the dance, perhaps since the clean versions of songs they had requested were unavailable, or by their younger peers, who were dancing, singing and having fun. 

The most shocking part, in my opinion, was the music preferences of middle school students. The song request sheet consisted mainly of rap songs, many of which I have never heard before. On the contrary side of this, many students didn’t know songs from just six or more years ago, which my friends and I grew up listening to and enjoying at our middle school dances. 

A prime example of this, the “Hoedown Throwdown,” a classic known among older students from the Disney show “Hannah Montana,” left students at the dance bewildered, standing still, not knowing how to dance to it. This is a startling observation: as a senior, I’m getting old!

In the past few years, the NHS hasn’t strayed far from tradition when it comes to service activities and giving back to the community.

However, due to an increase in restrictive rules, fewer students with acceptable blood, and strict rules for student-athletes, the traditional service activity of a blood drive has been let go of this year for lack of quantifiable involvement. The club hopes that with a more inclusive activity that everyone can lend a hand in, there will be more contribution.

Therefore, NHS will use the money earned from the dance to fund other various causes, including a new one for the club, a donation drive for Empire Animal Rescue Society. The club feels this is a worthy cause, that will see lots of participation from the student body and staff. 

In the coming weeks, NHS will continue to be quite busy, with the donation drive unfolding, as well as applications for induction to National Honor Society being distributed to the Class of 2021.

Students in NHS will be attending two banquets before the end of the school year: the induction ceremony and the annual Cattaraugus County banquet honoring senior members hosted at Good Times of Olean in May.