Source: Sign Up Genius
People have a lot of fun dancing with their friends, especially at this year’s dance-a-thon.
Mrs. Carannante is a Spanish Honors teacher at the Monroe Township High School as well as a part of the Spanish Honor Society. She is the main coordinator of this spectacular event that I had the opportunity to attend. I asked her a few questions on the dance-a-thon (shown below) which she gladly answered.
Interview with the Co-Advisor of the Dance-a-thon:
Interviewer (Surabhi Ashok—me): How did the idea of this dance-a-thon come up?
Interviewee (Mrs. Carannante): The event was started many years ago by my
predecessor as the Advisor to SHH (Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica) as a marathon and
fundraising event. Why was the SMILE foundation chosen for the charity to donate to? Operation Smile was chosen because the recipients are children in 3rd world countries,
many of which live in Spanish-speaking countries. What is Operation SMILE? Operation Smile is a nonprofit organization which performs surgeries for children born
with facial deformities like cleft palate in 3rd world countries. These surgeries help fix
their smiles and are truly life-changing for these children. What do you hope this will do for the people of these third world countries? We hope to give these children a better, more normal future and to be faced with less
discrimination as they grow up. What did you expect for the dance? We expected all SHH members and Inductees to attend and bring a friend. We hoped
for all students to have fun dancing the night away to Latin music. What happened (in detail) at this event? Students were all given a wristband upon arrival. If they stopped dancing at any point,
their wrist bands were cut, and they were no longer in the running for prizes at the end.
In addition to the grand prize for best dancer, other prizes were also awarded for other
categories. Local businesses participated as donors in the spirit of the event. After
dinner, we also ran a bowling tournament and prizes were also awarded to the winners. What is the Spanish Honors Society, and how did they help set this up?
The event was scheduled, set up, and run exclusively by the SHH (Sociedad Honoraria
Hispánica) Board and other SHH volunteers.
The Spanish Honor Society organized their annual Dance-a-Thon on February 28, 2020. It started at 5 p.m. and ended at 10 p.m. in Cafeteria B. The theme was, of course, fiesta.
The decorations were fantastic. There was a spread of tables decorated with balloons and tablecloth, each one adorning chocolates. As the whole cafeteria was dark, there were golden lights hung around the room. There was also a DJ right in the front of the cafeteria. He played many Hispanic songs as well as other famous pop songs in which some had Spanish words and singers in them. On the sides of the room, there were more tables holding snacks, food for dinner, and drinks (coffee and water).
The foyer of the event was right in the commons. There was the sign-up table ($10 for general admission and $20 for members of the honors society), and a table solely for chocolates and candy. Once signed up, a wristband would be given for the dance-a-thon. Nearby were many props and a decorated backdrop to take nice pictures.
The rules were that you had to start dancing as soon as you arrived. A lot of people were dancing in groups with their friends and having fun. When popular songs were being played, everyone was really loud and spirited. Sometimes, even flashlights on our phones would be pulled out to keep the energy up. If you stopped outside of the dispersed breaks they gave you, an SHS volunteer would come around and snip the wristband which meant you were out of the dance-a-thon. Many people though still danced with their friends after being out of the competition.
There were gift card prizes for the winners with the 3 categories of “Best Dancer”, “Best Group”, and “Most Enthusiastic Dancer”. Audrey Lynch won the “Best Dancer” prize, receiving a $50 visa gift card. Mostly each person of the “Best Group” was rewarded with a $15 Starbucks gift card. The “Most Enthusiastic Dancer” won a $25 visa gift card as well. Other than the main people, there were also three honorable mentions who were very enthusiastic throughout the event, getting to take home a pie of pizza.
In the middle of the competition, dinner was served for about 30 to 45 minutes. There was a variety of delicious food such as pizza, sushi, pasta, noodles and much more. Later on, there were snacks like chips, cookies, and different desserts displayed.
This year after dinner, instead of a ping-pong tournament, the Spanish Honor Society held a bowling tournament in the commons outside the cafeteria. This was for anyone who didn’t want to dance anymore. Many people played in a friendly competition, getting rewarded with prizes if they won as well. The winner of this game was presented with a $25 visa gift card.
There were many local businesses who gave food donations or generous discounts for the Annual Dance-a-thon. Thank you to Antonio’s Restaurant, Romeo’s Pizza, Tomato Pies Italian Kitchen, Fresco Pizzeria and Italian Eatery, Villa Laura Restaurant, Hot Breads, and Yimo Sushi and Hibachi for providing for the occasion.
The proceeds earned from this event go to the charity, Operation Smile. This organization is non profitable. It performs surgeries for children with facial abnormalities, hence the name “Smile”. Hopefully this reduces the discrimination the kids might face. The dance-a-thon chose Operation Smile to benefit because it helps children of many Hispanic third world countries. Some portion of the money earned helps fund scholarships for the seniors at our school as well.
This year, the profit was $1000 which will be able to fund 4 smiles and give these children life-changing surgeries for their cleft-palate in third world countries.
The annual Dance-a-Thon hosted by the Spanish Honor Society of Monroe Township High School was a great success. It was diverse and fun, and I look forward to attending in the years following.