2022 Homecoming Review: Success!
BY NOSARA MAXWELL '23 & AVA WONG '23
As students streamed in the front door, they tossed their dripping jackets on the benches in the lobby. Friend groups in sparkly dresses and sharp suits ran through the hallway, thrilled to enter the excitement of the first Homecoming dance since 2016. As volunteers accepted their tickets, the loud music and colorful lights sparked giddy anticipation. The gym quickly filled up with dancing students thrilled to have a momentous Saturday night.
For ABRHS, this fall dance was the first Homecoming in over five years since low attendance made them ineffective fundraisers. In the past, AB has canceled dances due to low ticket sales, but the same cannot be said for Homecoming 2022; this year was a smashing success. With 542 additional tickets sold after the original 450 ticket cap was overruled by Ms. Dean, this year’s Homecoming dance was an exciting reminder of what school spirit at AB should look like. The pandemic limited the amount of school events in recent years, and apart from Prom, most of the student body has not attended a high school dance.
In future years, the student body expressed a desire for a traditional Homecoming with a dance that follows a home football game at the beginning of the school year. While this dance didn’t feature a football game, the excitement of the night overwhelmed the lack of a correlating sporting event.
When asked what one of their favorite parts of Homecoming was, many students responded that the food was a surprising highlight of the night. Commons B was filled with sandwiches, charcuterie boards, and the crowd-favorite macarons. Students expressed a lot of enjoyment over sparkling apple cider in champagne flutes. As predicted, people loved the mixes from prolific DJ, Kyle Hooloomann ’23, and dance classics like Justin Bieber’s “Baby” and Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl” got the crowd jumping. When asked about the return of Homecoming next year, the response was overwhelmingly enthusiastic, though students expressed that having it earlier in the year would be preferable. Students also suggested the dance be separated by grade in future years so that more people could attend. The turnout was much higher than expected, which made the dance feel a little crowded at times. In anticipation of next year’s attendance, people requested moving the dance to an outside venue as a possible remedy.
Although the dance was a huge success, there are some considerations for future dance plans at AB. Among students that were interviewed, many expressed concern about the price of tickets. For a two and a half hour dance, a $20 ticket seemed like a steep price to pay, even considering that the dance was a class fundraiser. It is important to consider the equity of this price if a student is not able to afford an expensive ticket. Additionally, the limitations of the number of tickets posed concerns. Many students did not purchase a ticket on time, and by the time they reached the table at lunch, the tickets were sold out. Although the Student Council reopened ticket sales after school at the request of the administration, it was not well advertised, and at the entrance to the dance, there were a number of students that were turned away from the dance because they did not have a ticket. For a more disorganized student, this limitation prevented many from joining their friends in the vibrant gym, and instead, they had to go home.
Despite these criticisms, the dance prospered. With over $10,000 fundraised for charitable donations, future school events, and a larger senior gift at the end of the year, all of the goals were met for the dance with flying colors. The school was decorated in a festive, lively manner, and it was exciting to see students dressed up to enjoy a night dancing with their friends.
Overall, Homecoming was not only a coveted bucket-list item for many students, but also an opportunity to create a community at AB. It is rare that students from all grades can come together at a single function, as most assemblies and traditions are separated by grades, like Senior Dress Up Day. At Homecoming, underclassmen could look forward to their senior year dances, and nostalgia and memories were in the air for seniors themselves. From the extremely enthusiastic response from the student body, it is clear that the return of Homecoming was a triumph and will hopefully usher in an age of renewed school spirit here at AB.