The Sound Byte Teen Dance is the brainchild of Tom and Julie Boardman. They hold the dance at the Key Peninsula Civic Center when the space is available, and when the school events schedule is most conducive to a large turnout.
However, turnout has been low, and the workload is heavy. The Boardmans announced at the Jan. 17 dance that it would be the last dance, unless the kids wanted to step up and help out. About 10-15 kids swarmed the couple, ready to do whatever was needed, she said.
“It’s not just the cleanup, it’s the preparation, the planning way in advance, that day’s prep and cleanup and I would say 90 percent fell onto our family, my husband and three daughters,” Julie said.
The dances end at midnight, and she said the family has been there until 3 a.m. some mornings trying to clean up.
Though they were resigned to ending the dances, she said they wanted to give the kids a chance to change the outcome.
Kris Allen is a senior at Peninsula High School. He stepped up.
“We cleaned the bathrooms, the dance floor, replaced the blacklights with normal lights and helped clean the kitchen, game room, and did an overall clean and put stuff away,” he said.
In fact, those kids had the place whipped out in about 30 minutes, Boardman said.
“They’d get finished with a little project and come back and ask, ‘what do I do now.’ They really took us seriously,” she said.
Now that the kids have spoken through their actions and obviously want the dance to continue, Boardman said she would like to see a committee of kids help with planning the next dance.
Allen said people need to spread the word about the dance to increase attendance, and Ashley Torres, 17, said it would help if word spread to the other schools.
“It’s not every day you have a community putting on a teen dance, especially on the KP, so having a separate dance from school is a lot better,” Torres said.
When the DJ announced it could be the last dance, Torres said, “I immediately thought, ‘now what am I going to do with my weekends.’”
The next Sound Byte Teen Dance will be sometime after March, Boardman said, depending on availability of the civic center and other schedules.
If you would like to help with the dance, please call Julie or Tom Boardman at 858-6477.