More than 450 students filled the gym for SGA’s first-ever Cupid Shuffle dance on Saturday night. The Valentine’s Day-themed Charity Month raised an estimated $9,000, with all proceeds benefiting Shepherd’s Table.
The Cupid Shuffle was the first dance to take place at Whitman in nearly three years, after COVID-related cancellations, a change in the homecoming venue and the cancellation of Vike-a-Thon in March 2022 left the gym vacant since 2020. The Class of 2023 is the only class that has attended a dance at Whitman, and returned to the dance floor alongside their peers with a series of new safety measures — including brighter lighting, a revised dress code and additional staff.
As students arrived at Whitman, parent volunteers escorted them to the glowing main gym which had traditional Valentine’s Day decorations everywhere. Similar to post-prom and Vikeapalooza, students helped themselves to snacks and pizza and enjoyed raffles, a photo booth and an inviting dance floor. Ledo Pizza and Anthony’s Coal-Fired Pizza served food at the event, and East of Maui and Levain Bakery hosted raffles for students.
Assistant Principal Kristi McAleese said the dance was a traditional way for students to have fun while staying safe. Given that most students have missed the chance to attend a dance at Whitman, she believes the event had an impressive turnout of students.
“I think it was a really good turnout,” McAleese said. “It dawned on me that nobody’s seen a dance here at Whitman because homecoming is on the baseball field and prom is off-site.”
Leadership team members illuminated the gym with a disco ball and lined the halls with red paper hearts, glowing paper lanterns and string lights. Student DJs Ali and Adam Shalabi, both juniors, played music from their setup in the back of the gym.
Senior Roman Gehres enjoyed the creative decorations and presentation of the dance, he said. The Shalabeatz’s choice of music fitted the event and made it easy to jump onto the dance floor. Although the event would have benefitted from more robust advertising, the large number of students who attended meant that the SGA achieved its goal of raising money, Gehres said.
Junior Michael Lukas attended the Cupid Shuffle with friends and said he was pleasantly surprised by the dance’s exciting ambiance. Lukas enjoyed the music, noticing students occupying the dance floor for the entire night.
“It was a lot of fun, the DJs were great and the music was really good,” Lukas said. “The atmosphere was electric — everyone was dancing.”
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