Manitou’s First Color Dance is an Undeniable Success

Aidan Epstein

Amongst a mist of red, green, yellow, and orange, a crowd accumulated for a night of ecstatic movement. On Saturday, August 30th, Student-Body President, Carter Sandras (12), and Junior class representative, Taylor Finn (11), saw their idea for the high school’s first Color Dance manifest in full form. Based off of festivals like Holi (a.k.a. Festival of Colors) in India, all the participants would get a handful of a powder varying in color. When the command is given, the air will become opaque with tie dye.

The result was a party to remember.

When going into the parking lot an hour prior to the dance, one would think they were approaching a crime scene with the caution tape which marked the dance area. Members of student council were helping set up, while in the back of a trailer Matt Stoneback set up his sound system to get prepared for the night.

By 4:30 p.m., half an hour before the dance started, people in white shirts began to arrive. In front of the SILC building, groups engaging each other in conversation started to form. Topics varied from the first week of school, to memories of the summer, to how they were expecting the dance would go.

That was a topic that remained in question for about an hour and a half. There was a lot of uncertainty on how things would pan out; because of the difficulty in cleaning the powder from a floor, it had to be held outside, and due to a lack of advertisement the turnout was expected to be low. This was the first time Manitou had done any dance of this kind, so it was very much a trial runThe first kick-drum struck the speakers when the clock struck five. Student Council President, Carter Sandras, was the first to enter the dance area, and immediately preceded to dance. More people entered into the space, but didn’t, unlike their president, start to dance. Gradually throughout the hour, people were convinced by some of the seniors in the crowd to do some form of movement along with the beat.

However, the party didn’t really kick off until 6:00, when the powder was finally for sale. Everyone had a handful of the colorful stuff in hand. Matt Stoneback halted the music right before a buildup to the next song to explain that everyone was going to throw the powder into the air when the song dropped, then he let the buildup roll on.

The anticipation increased with every sound of a snare drum in the quickening drumroll. Finally, the buildup led to a split second (4 beats) of silence before, boom! The bass hit and a cloud enveloped around the entire crowd. Even though the sun was still out people seemed to be relieved of their shyness. Everyone started to dance without having to be convinced by someone else. Secluded groups of friends found themselves merged with other formerly secluded groups of friends. Nobody seemed to care about looking bad, and just decided to have fun.

The rest of the dance seemed timeless. There were dance circles where some people showed off their dance skills, holi-powder fights, and the only tears that were shed were by those who didn’t wear sunglasses to keep the powder out of their eyes.

Unfortunately, the dance ended quite abruptly at 8:15 when a girl had an asthma attack and passed out on the pavement. Paramedics were called, and everyone had to pack up and leave. The girl is thankfully fine, and everyone still left satisfied with the first dance of the year.

When asked if the she thought the dance was a success, Taylor responded, “It went perfectly. I’ve only heard positive comments — nothing negative.” Also voicing his pleasure, Carter said, “Besides the ending, I think it was (successful). The whole reason I ran for Student Body President was so I could help bring our community together, and I just saw a community being brought together.” He later continued, “I’m impressed with how Taylor pulled this whole thing together.”

Even though there were only approximately 75 students present, the school still raised just under $250. Student council supervisor Alice Stoneback said that Manitou should be expecting to see the Color Dance in later years.