On 24 February 2017, SAC held the annual Semi-Formal dance at Celebrations Banquet Hall from 5:00 to 10:30 pm. Organized by Social Convener Fariha Haleem, attendees were encouraged to dress to the theme of Las Vegas.

Semi was primarily advertised on social media and by word of mouth. SAC also released a promotional video on Youtube of the Cougar, the school mascot, asking different students to go to Semi with him. The first fifty tickets were sold at an early-bird price of thirty dollars, while the rest were sold at thirty five dollars for MGCI students and forty dollars for guests. Ticket sales occurred from 9 February to 23 February during lunch in the SAC office. In total, two hundred eighteen tickets were sold, a number much higher than SAC’s original goal of one hundred to one hundred fifty tickets.

“After Fall Fest we expected that about a hundred people would show up,” said Fariha. “It was amazing that so many students wanted to participate.” SAC broke even with ticket sales, bringing in over eight hundred dollars in profits. Most of the profit went towards hosting DJ Haresh, the venue, decorations, and gift bags.

Semi-Formal was held at the Celebrations Banquet Hall on 24 Feb 2017. Photo: Matthew Tse

Although the dance was set to begin at 5:00 pm, students and guests arrived as late as 6:30 pm. The entire venue was decorated to fit the Las Vegas and casino theme. There were balloons, sparkles, and poker chips to go along with the red and black colour scheme. There was also a photo booth with balloons and decorations for guests to take pictures in front of. Teacher supervisors performed bag checks upon entry and attendees were given beaded necklaces and glow sticks to truly transform the room into Sin City.

SAC kicked off the evening by gathering people to participate in musical chairs. Two rounds were played, and the winners received gift cards as prizes. As promised, dinner was served in buffet style at approximately 7:00 pm. There were a variety of choices, all Halal to accommodate for the attendees. There was also ice cream and fruits after dinner. Soft drinks, fruit punch, and water were also available to students throughout the night.

The dancing began soon after dinner and the dance floor was crowded throughout the night until the end of Semi at 10:30 pm. Awards in the form of gift bags were given to Agnes Veres-Sogi and Aamer Said for being the best female and male dancers respectively, Raaba Ahmad and Maria Yousuf for best couple, Sajjel Naveedand Ungabeen Khalid for cutest BFFs, and Akbar Qayumi for best selfie taken.

Students crowded on the dance floor throughout the night. Photo: Matthew Tse

The dance was well-received by participants. In comparison to last year, SAC President Zaid Baig said, “It had the highest amount of attendees and was also the very first Semi to have an agenda. In the past, there were no games or any icebreakers so I think those helped to make it more enjoyable.” Fariha also said that she interacted more with the guests than the host or hostess had in previous years: “I personally greeted them at the entrance and gave them the necklaces; I think that definitely improved the event.”

When asked about the dance, student Asma Karodalia said, “I think the food is great. I’m happy that I got to come with my friends.” However, some students also said that they would have preferred a larger dance floor and that they were discouraged by the ticket prices.

SAC had originally planned the Semi-Formal dance to be held in late-November, but there were scheduling conflicts with other events. Key Club hosted SCAW night during the week Semi was first planned to happen and there were many class trips as well. The organizers decided that February would be the optimal time to have the dance, as there would be no conflicts. Also, students could spend their money on tickets and not have to choose between events. The majority of students responded to the rescheduling well, as shown by the amount of tickets sold and overall spirit for the event.

All in all, the 2017 Semi-Formal was a great success. There was good food to go along with the high energy of the attendees and it was an amazing experience for both students and teachers. Ms. Goldenberg commented, “I think the organizers did a terrific job and everyone had a good time. It looked fabulous.”