The Friday before Valentine's Day, the East Hampton Middle School has an event that almost every kid in the school looks forward to: the Mad Heart Ball. This dance has been going on for many years and will be a tradition for a long time.

This dance has many things to do. In the beginning, the fifth-grade guests dance the merengue. They go into a big circle and dance for everyone to see.

There is also the open division. It is a competition among the grades. The sixth graders get a partner and do the dance directed. The same goes for the seventh and eighth graders. Close to the end of the night, there are 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners.

Another event is the team competition. The team competition is a large team of kids from either sixth, seventh or eighth grades. The teams are all coached by teachers. The teams do dances that they learned that week, that are choreographed by their coach. At the end of the night, one grade wins first place, another wins second, and the other grade third.

The flash mob dance is when the whole school merges together, and dances either the merengue, or a certain, quick dance that the choreographer makes up.

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The students learn the dances during their physical education class. This class goes on for about two weeks, and the regular classes are postponed until the teams are chosen and the students learn the dance for the grade they are in. A dancer from our local Y.M.C.A. teaches the dances and makes up the flash mob.

The Mad Heart Ball is a fun, enjoyable tradition that has been going on for years. Hopefully, it will continue to be around for as long as possible!