Stuyvesant Big Sib Chairs Hold Big Sib and Little Sib Dance

Big Sib Chairs hosts a Big Sib and Little Sib Dance.

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Midway through the semester, the Big Sib Chairs threw the traditional Big Sib and Little Sib Dance to connect the Big Sibs and Little Sibs. The dance was hosted on November 10 in the cafeteria after school. Due to this year’s Big Sib theme of “SpongeBob,” the dance was beach-themed with colorful blue decorations.

While the Big Sib Chairs planned most of the dance, some timing and logistics were handled by the administration. “[The] Admin Faculty Oversight Committee sent us an e-mail that asked [the Big Sib Chairs] to start planning the dance,” senior and Big Sib Chair Erica Liu said.

For the dance to be welcoming to all students, the Big Sibs prepared entertaining activities. “We wanted to incorporate some activities that people would enjoy, especially people who aren’t actually into dancing,” Liu said. “We’re trying to bring in some board games and we’re bringing in face painting, and we ordered a big backdrop [so] people can hold up little face-mask props and stuff that are beach themed.” 

These efforts paid off, as the backdrop and activities became very popular at the dance, with attendees enthused by the creative display. “I enjoyed the dance and the decorations, and [the SpongeBob] theme was cute. I feel like it’s a really good way for freshmen to get more involved in Stuy socially,” junior and Big Sib Ibtida Khurshed said in an e-mail interview.

During planning, one of the challenges the Big Sib Chairs feared they would face was a lack of Little Sib attendance. However, they accounted for this by sending out a form to approximate attendance. “My biggest fear is [of] not a lot of Little Sibs showing up. That’s why we [sent] out an interest form yesterday and we have like a few, like 30 to 40 sign-ups so far, and we’re hoping there is a big turnout. But that’s currently our biggest challenge,” senior and Big Sib Chair Eugene Park said.

Others feared that attendees would have a negative view of the dance due to the common stigmatization of school events. “Some school events aren’t seen that positively, and I can imagine a lot of people saying ‘nobody wants to go to the dance’ or anything,” Liu said.

At the dance, a couple of difficulties did arise. While many Little Sibs did attend, they were fewer in number than the Big Sibs, and many left early. “[I don’t know] an estimate [of Big Sibs and Little Sibs] but a lot of Little Sibs left early [and] at the end it was all Big Sibs,” senior and Big Sib Samaria Noel said in an e-mail interview.

In order to make the dance a proper event, the Big Sibs curated music proposed by Little Sibs along with a Big Sib DJ. However, challenges arose with the music choices. “One challenge was definitely getting the DJs to play our [requested songs]. I know that they had to choose clean songs because it was a school event, but a lot of the music was not danceable and the DJs rarely actually listened to requests,” Noel said.

While the dance floor was not very lively at the beginning of the dance, it got much more attention later on. “One of the main problems was that the music at the beginning was not dance music, but at the end of the dance, common party music like Cha Cha Slide played and everyone finally came out to the dance floor and it got super fun and energetic,” Khurshed said.

As expected, many wished that there was greater Little Sib attendance. “Future dances can be improved by both faculty and the Big Sib Organization reaching out to more freshmen. Some Big Sibs didn’t tell their Littles about the dance, which resulted in the dance just being a bunch of upperclassmen with a few Little Sibs. I think the dance would have been a lot more fun if it was actually a bonding experience for the Bigs and Littles,” Noel said.

In spite of attendance issues, Big Sib attendees mentioned how they had fun. “I didn’t attend the dance as a Little Sib[,] so I didn’t expect anything, but I did enjoy the dance because it was a fun way to hang out. Both Little and Big Sibs were playing with the balloons and we even formed a conga line at one point,” Khurshed said.

Ultimately, the Big Sib Chairs hoped to bring a positive experience and for those who attended to be connected throughout the year. “I hope that this dance kind of serves as a message to our Little Sibs that Big Sibs aren’t just people [who] are there during homeroom and just take attendance. We’re there throughout the school year, [...] and we just want to make the image of Big Sibs as easy-going as possible, as someone that you can just approach,” Park said.