Boys have nervously asked the pretty girl across the school gymnasium to dance at sock hops and high school socials as far back as anyone can remember.
Some students, parents and teachers might say a school dance is as important to a child's social development as the education provided within the institution's four walls.
But problems with drugs and alcohol made such events undesirable within the Kamloops-Thompson School District four years ago.
Westsyde secondary has successfully continued the tradition, however, with few problems along the way.
The school's leadership program organizes four dances a year and, during the three years Sean Lamoureux has been principal, only one incident has occurred involving alcohol.
"It's our students recognizing that they've come to dance and they've come to socialize. They haven't come to consume alcohol or anything else," said Lamoureux.
The latest Westsyde school dance was held Thursday night. Leadership students like Jaimie Lingel, Tatiana Gilbert and Accalia Crossley pick the theme for each dance and organize tickets, decorations and the concession.
"We always take suggestions from people outside of leadership because it's important to them and we want to give them what they want," said Crossley.
Each dance is a fundraiser. Thursday night's Rumble in the Jungle, gave students $1 off admission if they brought a donation for the Kamloops Food Bank.
Crossley said students are encouraged to dress according to the theme. Gilbert said the school dress code still applies.
Students appreciate the effort. The feedback the day after the dance is always positive, said Lingel.
"Everyone is always talking about what a great time they had," she said.
Steps are taken to mitigate trouble. Only the school's front doors are unlocked and every student has to walk by Lamoureux or another staff member to get in. Lamoureux makes a point of speaking to each youth.
Once inside, students can only mingle in the gymnasium and foyer. He said the doors leading to other parts of the school are locked.
Lockers in the foyer are covered with decorations, as are another set of doors leading outside. Lingel said if anyone tries to open a locker or leave, it's noticed.
Only Westsyde students are allowed in. If a student isn't at school on dance day, he or she can't take part. Lamoureux said the vibe is always positive.
The students understand the continued viability of the dances is up to them, Lingel said. If there's trouble, the dances will stop.
"It's a fun time. You don't want to ruin it for everyone else," she said.
The fun was almost ruined for everyone four or five years ago when several incidents at secondary school dances prompted principals to cancel the events altogether.
School district Supt. Terry Sullivan remembers dances at Sa-Hali and Valleyview secondary where five or six students were taken to hospital with alcohol poisoning during a single dance.
"It was a real problem," he said. "Of course, when you have that kind of thing occurring, it's not the favourite part of your responsibility."
Sullivan chaperoned school dances for the 14 years he was a principal and said it can be stressful.
"It's a demanding duty," he said. "You don't want students getting into cars under the influence or leaving school grounds.
Schools have gradually started hosting dances again, said Sullivan. They are no longer held on weekends, and begin and end earlier in the evening. Some schools have opted to host coffee houses instead.
"Students are going to have to behave themselves if you want these things to continue," he said.
NorKam, Valleyview and Brocklehurst Middle School have held dances this year. Sa-Hali and South Kamloops haven't, nor were phone calls to administrators returned.
South Kamloops student Brook McLean wishes there were dances at her school. She said they are an opportunity for students to get to know each other.
There isn't a lot for teenagers to do in Kamloops, said McLean. That causes youth to make poor decisions.
"At least, at a dance, it's supervised," she said.
If properly organized and managed, McLean believes South Kamloops could host successful dances, she said.
Lingel, Gilbert and Crossley hope dances will continue at Westsyde after they graduate and the school keeps its good reputation.
"They are so fun. I don't know what I would do if our school didn't have dances," said Crossley.