—by Michael Bamford & Ally Santa Maria—
After a week of school spirit and a triumphant football game, students gathered in the gym on Saturday October 11 for the annual Homecoming dance, where they danced to music, played Dance Dance Revolution videogame and munched on food.
This year’s Homecoming was a little different from last year’s: there was a new DJ, DDR, and even a Google form through which students suggested songs. “We work off the feedback we receive, and after last year, we saw a couple of things that could be adjusted,” Executive Board Vice President Kavya Pochiraju said.
The theme for this year’s dance was “Throwback Homecoming,” and the gym and the hallways were decorated with images of old characters from 90’s television shows. “Our students chose that theme because this was the last graduating class who has a memory of the 90’s,” Student Council Advisor Carl Romero said. Each class represented one television channel with characters from the 90’s: Freshmen, PBS; Sophomores, Disney; Juniors, Cartoon Network; and Seniors, Nickelodeon.
Student Council spent months preparing for the dance. “We came into the August summer meeting and got together to decide the theme of the event,” Student Council President Ambika Nair said. “Our goal for this dance was to put a different spin on it, while still maintaining all the aspects students enjoyed about it.”
The DJ played a throwback song every 30 minutes; students voted on the playlist in the days before the dance. As the songs played, their corresponding music videos were projected on screens in the front of the gym. “We wanted to ensure the students heard the music that they wanted to be played,” Pochiraju said. Students were also allowed to make song suggestions during the dance; at one point, the speakers blasted Taylor Swift. “We decided last year with concerns about the music, that we’d hire a DJ who was flexible with his playlist and interactive with the people at the dance,” Pochiraju added.
If students did not want to dance in the gym to the DJ, they could relax in the jazz lounge, which proved as popular this year as it was last year. “The jazz lounge was fantastic. The musicians did a great job,” said Homecoming King and marching band drum major Sundar Solai. “I also enjoyed the musicians’ interpretation of ‘Seven Nation Army,’ which is a marching band favorite.”
Although many students gave the jazz lounge positive marks, the band itself sometimes seemed underprepared. “I could tell they don’t have too many jazz songs prepared, because they are improvising a lot, but in terms of skill they are all pretty good,” junior Madhavi Challa said.
Toward the end of the dance, with the band still playing in the jazz lounge, one girl left the school in an ambulance after passing out drunk in the bathroom. As administrators rushed to deal with the situation, Student Council members pushed students out of the hallway nearest to the bathroom. It remains unclear whether the episode will prompt changes to future dances. Principal Michael Zapicchi said the incident “will bear future thought.”