Dragons have a magical night at the 2023 Winter Formal

Foothill Techs annual Winter Formal began on Dec. 16, 2023, with an enchanting Yule Ball theme. The venue was decorated in icy blue and stark white lights, glitter, balloons and candles on every table.
Foothill Tech’s annual Winter Formal began on Dec. 16, 2023, with an enchanting Yule Ball theme. The venue was decorated in icy blue and stark white lights, glitter, balloons and candles on every table.
Layla Solomon
Students mingle in small groups as they wait in line for the photobooth. Other groups stand around glowing tables adorned with candle decoration, waiting for the dancing to start. (Layla Solomon)

On the night of Dec. 16, 2023, the sun set on the vacant, empty lot of the Ventura County Fairground, soon to be interrupted by the hustle and bustle of a swarm of students from across the school district, lining up for Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech)’s annual Winter Formal. From 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., the otherwise dull warehouse venue was transformed into a magical Yule Ball themed dance, glittering with light and students’ anticipation to party.

Hundreds of eager students were ushered in as early as 6:45 p.m. into Anacapa Hall, which shimmered with an enchanting blue hue. The DJ side wall was illuminated with sparkling white lights along draping white curtains, providing a dimmer setting for those on the dance floor. Located about the hall were various tables for dessert and drinks. The Yule Ball had two photo booths for guests, a “gaming area” with an air hockey table, foosball and video games, and the Associated Student Body (ASB) item check-in booth for any loose belongings students might not want to carry around. 

Surrounded by the hall’s blue lighting, the dessert table is piled high with a variety of delicious baked goods to satisfy any guests’ sweet tooth. (Layla Solomon)

Scattered across the hall were both winter and Harry Potter themed decorations, including a Christmas tree, Hogwarts banners, balloons and tables lit by candles. The restrooms even had signs for the Ministry of Magic above the toilets. Many of the guests upheld the formal attire standard, dawning their very best sparkly dresses and snazzy suits. “I saw everybody dancing and their outfits were amazing,” Eliel Suarez ‘24 commented, “I loved it.”

The night quickly gained energy as music started blasting and the student body made their way to the dance floor. Songs such as “Crazy in Love” by Beyoncé and “HUMBLE.” by Kendrick Lamar echoed throughout the venue, with many of the song choices eliciting cheers and intensity from the crowd. “Everyone was really … energetic,” Keera Wallace ‘26 observed. 

Layla Solomon

Most of the night was spent dancing spiritedly where guests would often form a dance circle before crashing and jumping into each other at the beat drop. Christian Bondy ‘26 said, “The mosh pit was fun, I definitely got hurt but it was worth it.” 

Careless Whisper” by George Micheal was one of the few slow dance songs played, allowing students a moment of relief from the liveliness of the previous hour. The crowd soon resumed the energy and continued to dance until the event’s conclusion. “I wish that there was more, like, Nicki Minaj,” Suarez suggested. Several lucky students were called up to the DJ booth as well, picking their DJ name and a song to play. Still, based on the crowd’s enthusiasm, the music seemed overall likable, making the dance floor a popular part of the event.  

It brings schools together … I get to go to dances with [my] friends that go to Foothill

— Kendall Cessna ‘26

Eventually, the dance came to a close and students began to gather their things, exiting the hall into the brisk nighttime air, a welcome change after the heat of the crowd. 

As everyone left Anacapa Hall, dance attendees searched for their rides, leaving the quickly filling lot. With memories and excitement still buzzing, the curtains closed on Foothill Tech’s Winter Formal.


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