Is a Reunion Just a High School Dance 10 Years Later?

Most of us don't really miss the unique pain/pleasure of a high school dance. So how different was my high school reunion from the dances we used to attend?

Is a Reunion Just a High School Dance 10 Years Later?
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Whether it was at your own high school or someone else's, whether you enjoyed it or spent the entire night wishing you could leave, whether you dressed up or down — chances are you attended at least one high school dance during your teenage years.

I typically had fun at the dances my high school threw for us (Wing Thing shout out, woot!), but that doesn't mean I'm exactly yearning to repeat the experience or anything. However, when faced with my approaching ten year high school reunion a few weeks ago, I couldn't help but wonder — were my fellow Class of '05-ers and I in for a night resembling a high school dance, ten-years-later edition?

Just Another High School Dance? Ten Years Later

Having attended the event and lived to tell the tale, I can answer confidently: sort of. A high school reunion is basically a high school dance...with a few key similarities and differences:

The alcohol is out in the open

Just Another High School Dance? Ten Years Later

I don't know about your high school dances, but all booze was consumed either prior to or in total covert secret at mine...since we were, ahem, underage. At the reunion, however, everyone was now way beyond the legal drinking age, so the alcohol was free-flowing and no longer hidden away in a plastic Poland Spring water bottle.

The guest list was basically the same

Familiar faces were everywhere! Except everyone was ten years older, of course, and some of us hadn't seen each other in equally as long.

No one danced

Just Another High School Dance? Ten Years Later

Well, that's not true, I definitely danced a little bit at the end of the night. Like, sort of bopping in place dancing. But at our high school dances, people actually danced — or performed whatever gyrating movements passed for dancing at age 16. At the reunion, which is not technically a "dance," it was not so.

...But the music was quite familiar

Thanks to a Spotify playlist containing the Billboard Top 100 of 2005 and other early aughts hits.

There's a lot more talking

Just Another High School Dance? Ten Years Later

Instead of the aforementioned gyrating-dancing hybrid of our teenage years, we spent our time actually talking to each other and catching up at the reunion. And it wasn't just gossiping about who hooked up with whom and who was failing Calculus and whose parents were going to be out of town the next weekend.

There are no chaperones

And three cheers for that! Sure, the bar manager was hanging around, but that's way better than accidentally making eye contact with your English teacher as you slow dance with your crush. Shudder.

In general, it's just a whole different vibe

Just Another High School Dance? Ten Years Later

At the reunion, everyone was pretty much happy to see each other and wanting to talk to as many former classmates as possible. I don't remember that being the case at high school dances, where you mostly stuck to your crew. And you saw everyone at school every day, anyway, so there was little reason to break out of your circle during the dance. Yay for the camaraderie of being older and wiser!

There you have it. A high school dance and a high school reunion? Not that different...but somehow, just different enough.