Behind the Paint Dance

By Emma Toner

This Q&A originally appeared as part of the Homecoming 2012 online feature.

Why paint?
Sarah Jolley: There was some talk about a paint dance in Student Council last year as a result of Homecoming being such a failure last year. We really wanted to do something super awesome this year in order to make up for that. The idea of a paint dance was inspired by Dayglow and some other ISL schools that have successfully pulled off paint dances in the past.
Nate McLeod: If we did not think this [paint dance] would be a success, we would not have planned it. We want this to be the most epic dance in BB&N history. Our ISL relatives who have had paint dances all say they were highlights of the year. There’s nothing like getting your stress out by just slinging paint all around and getting it all over yourself — it requires a certain sacrifice of self, where you stop caring about how you look and what to do and just give in to the communal sense of fun.

How much paint will there be?
NM: We have ordered 27.5 gallons of neon, washable, non-toxic, black-light paint, which is 220 16-fluid ounce bottles. If we have a really large number of people buy tickets, we will order even more.

How does this relate to Color Wars?
SJ: Color Wars [equals] life. If you show up you will earn one point for your color team. If you are one of the first 25 people to show up, you will earn five points for your team. If you are a freshman, you will get double the points…this means that each freshman will earn two points for showing up, or 10 points for showing up among the first 25 people.

This is a paint dance. But what role exactly will the paint play?
SJ: There will be a countdown on the scoreboard indicating when the first round of paint will come out. SAC members will start handing out paint when the scoreboard counts down to zero. Not all the paint will be brought out at first. We will be bringing the paint out in small bottle containers in stages. There is enough paint for everyone.

Is slippery paint a potential safety hazard?
NM:The paint is fairly thick and not very slippery, and the owner of the paint company said that most people just hold these dances on their gym floors. He has no complaints, but to be extra cautious, we are going to lay down some giant traction tarps to make the dance safer and easier to clean-up. In terms of the paint, it is completely non-toxic, so if you get it in your eye it may burn like you sprayed water in your eye but will do no damage.

How did you convince the school administration?
SJ: We spent a lot of time researching paint dances over the summer and eventually came up with a proposal that addressed the type of paint we would use and how we would account for clean up and the safety of students. With this proposal we were able to convince the administration that organizing a paint dance would significantly boost school spirit and would be a ton of fun for the entire student body.

Photo: Paint is the theme of this Saturday’s dance. Courtesy http://flickrhivemind.net/Tags/paint,travelsofhomerodyssey/Timeline.

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