For some students, Homecoming is one of the most significant events in their high school career. It’s a time to celebrate school spirit while having fun with peers. Of course, fundamentally, it is a school-held event where you dance for a few hours with teenagers who are all sweaty and tired by the end. Still, many hold the occasion near and dear to their heart.
Kingswood Oxford’s Homecoming dance was nothing short of enjoyable. I loved the glow-in-the-dark necklaces and bracelets that were handed out, the fairy lights we danced under, and the very convenient water jugs that were placed a decent distance away from the speakers and crowd for when you needed a break. However, although the night was amusing, I would not have described the event as “well-planned.”
I understand that Homecoming is challenging to plan; however, announcing the date and theme only a week before the event is slightly problematic. People could have made plans for that date and had to work their schedules around the dance. Students also cannot be expected to dress with the theme on such short notice. Junior Francesca Lamattina expressed her worries. “The theme felt last-minute,” she said, “so if anyone wanted to dress according to it, they had to rush to get an outfit.”
The date for Homecoming was also uncoordinated. From September until the day before the dance took place, the Wyvern Weekly advertised that the dance would be on Saturday, Oct. 14. That day is what I and others accordingly planned for, but when they announced the dance during assembly, I was surprised to learn that the date had changed. The switch was never addressed, but it was rumored that it took place so sports playing on Saturday would not have to rush to the dance. However, this problem still occurred, as there was an awkward amount of time from when practices were let out and the dance began. Even Francesca, who plays for the varsity volleyball team and had a game on Saturday, believes they should have kept the original date. Having a long day at school and practice and then preparing to dance for three hours is tiring.
However, one of my least favorite parts of KO dances is that everyone who attends must stay the entire time. Towards the end of Homecoming, no one was dancing because they were tired, and the songs were not exciting. This meant we were all standing in 50-degree weather with no source of heat or entertainment. Many attempted to exit but were stopped, as you had to have a parent pick you up if you wanted to leave campus or even go to Roberts. This was especially annoying for those who drove there, as no parent would pick you up, so you had to stay until 10:00 p.m. I understand that this rule was placed for the safety of the students, but forcing us to stay the whole time made Homecoming feel less like a dance and more like a mandatory event.
The worst part about the ending was not the cold or the awkward conversations I had with people by the water jugs, but instead the final song. I am no Black Eyed Peas hater; I love some of their songs like “I Gotta Feeling” and “Pump It.” Nevertheless, I would not identify any of these as an end-to-a-dance song. Especially not one that I had never heard of and just felt out of place compared to the rest of the night, which had been filled with iconic songs that mostly everyone knew. I know that all music played during Homecoming was requested by someone in the KO community, but I wish the last song were more iconic and relatable than “The Time.”
Organizing a dance for such a judgmental and picky group as high schoolers is very difficult, and I respect and appreciate the efforts made by all who planned Homecoming. However, I find time and time again that KO dances tend to leave me with disappointment rather than satisfaction.