I'd like to weigh in here with a few observations. Back when "Port Prom" was first introduced it was supposed to be a strictly formal affair. People we required to be very well dressed, we had dance instructions, and I did my best to only play classical waltz style music. In theory, it was great - in practice it didn't work at all. No one seemed to enjoy the music. The dance floor was completely empty; and it wasn't until I put on something more upbeat that people started to move. People also complained about their being an exclusive even that they couldn't attend even though they had pre-regged for the bonus day.
So the next year we 86'd the dance lessons (since not many people took advantage of our terrific instructors anyway) and lightened the dress code. The music was toned to be more modern and I saw a marked difference in the way people were behaving. It seemed (to me anyway) that the majority of people were having more fun the more relaxed the atmosphere got. I think we really hit our stride the year we did "80s Dance Zone". That year I had a good mix of slow songs vs fast songs and I think that was the year we had the best audience response.
This year I tried the "90s Dance Zone" to rather mixed results. The crowd was more energetic than I'd ever seen at the Port Prom - but ya'll here on the forum seem to have had a bad time. I will admit that the slower songs fell by the wayside-but it didn't feel like what most people wanted was to slow dance. When I put on the waltzier, slower songs the dance floor was practically evacuated; and when I made the decision to test the rave lights (literally test them - I wanted to see how they looked before the big Saturday dance) the audience gave up a huge cheer.
Now I hear you when you say that you don't want Port Prom to be a mini-rave. And I actually do agree. Next year I won't turn out the lights and put on lasers because I do want the two dances to be separate. However, that does not mean that we will be returning to a strictly formal affair. I don't support turning people away from an event for any reason - even if they're underdressed. So I'm willing to hear your ideas, and I do want to work to find some sort of compromise and make this event something worthwhile for the people that want to get dressed up.