Bringing back the Ring Dance

A class ring symbolizes who someone is as a high school student. It’s hard to believe something so small can tell so much about a person. The class ring shows achievement and honor, and is an individualized symbol of the school itself and of membership within the alumni community. The tradition of the class ring came from The United States Military Academy at West Point in 1835. The idea of class rings started because it was a way to symbolize unity within a place. It was a way for people to identify where they came from. Since then schools have taken the idea and morphed it into their own symbol.

The class rings were later designed not only to show where a student came from, but also showed personal achievement. It became popular for people to individualize their class ring.

When receiving the class ring there were traditions that went with the receiving of the ring. It used to be while the student was wearing the ring when in school, the ring faced the student to symbolize the determination of graduating. Once graduating, the new alumni would turn the ring to face away from the them. This was done to symbolize the admittance to the alumni society.

Another tradition of the class ring was when the student graduated from high school/ college the friends and family of the student would turn the ring on the graduates finger to bring the graduate luck for the future.

At Woodland Regional High School,  sophomores receive the opportunity to purchase a class ring.  In the past students at Woodland received the class ring through a ring dance although, the ring dance was not a ceremony commonly used when receiving the class ring.

Traditionally,  other schools hosted a sit down dinner for the sophomores to receive their class rings. It was only Woodland that decided to host a dance to receive the class ring.

As the years went on many sophomores chose not to attend the ring dance because their parents could not afford to buy them a class ring. The dance was created to earn money for the sophomore class, but because the attendance was so low the sophomore class ended up losing money instead of making money.

At Woodland the ring dance became an excuse to misbehave rather than be a formal event where the sophomores received their class rings.

“The behavior at dances makes Woodland faculty want to limit the number of dances,” stated Vice Principal, Dana Mulligan.

To accommodate and stop bad behaviors of  the entire sophomore class, the class advisors decided to switch the idea and host a breakfast. This way the students who purchased a ring could receive it, but everyone was included because it took place during the school day. Having the breakfast brought back the tradition of having a sit down meal with your graduating class.

But this year, for the first time in several years the sophomore class officers have chosen to have a ring dance. This year’s class ring dance will serve as a test to see if other classes will have the ring dance again in the future. The idea of the ring dance is a controversial issue with some sophomores as some are for and some are against the ring dance.

“The class breakfast was a cheaper way to celebrate the obtaining of the class rings,” stated sophomore, Kyla Porter.