Homecoming 2017: Red Carpets and Paper Bag Coat Checks


The homecoming dance is a cherished tradition of many high schools across the nation, dating back to the late 1800s or early 1900s. Typically thought of as the climax of homecoming week (which is composed of events such as spirit week, pep fest, and a football game), homecoming dances originated as a way to celebrate school pride and bring students together for a night of fun.

The AVHS Homecoming photobooth for 2017

At Apple Valley, the dance happens on Saturday evening of homecoming week. Sure to be a night of fun, AVHS students had a variety of reasons for attending.

“I decided to go because I thought it was a good opportunity to have fun and hang out with my friends,” said sophomore Heaven Solomon.

Many other students resonated with Solomon; Junior Tyra Hollingsworth mentioned, “I want to have the memories.”

Seniors pose for pictures at the Burnsville Ames Center

On the other hand, some students don’t go to the dance at all. Junior Amanda Jackson stated, “I’ve never gone; people have told me there’s no food.”

Many AVHS students’ night begins with snapping some pictures when the sun is just beginning to set and lighting is ideal; the Ames Center in Burnsville is a popular photoshoot location. After pictures, homecoming attendees may head over to their favorite restaurant for dinner or hang out with friends before arriving at school. Nonetheless, the dance starts at 8 pm.

Normally, students are greeted by ticket checkers near the main door; this year, however—with all the construction going on—students had to enter through an alternative door near the school’s sports arena.

All grades are invited, and students typically attend in pairs r groups. Freshman Cooper Roberts, who attended with five other friends, “really enjoyed how all the grades were dancing together. It was really different from the eighth grade formal at Valley Middle.”

“Overall it was pretty organized [. . .] I had a good experience.” Senior Barbara Tan decided to go because “it was my senior year” and she “thought it would be great to experience once, especially with friends.”

Mr. Bill Blatzheim is pictured checking in a student

The song selection, which ranged from Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” to Katy Perry’s “Bon Appetit,” evoked mixed feelings. “I liked that the music was very different, because they tried to play every genre,” said Roberts, “even if I wasn’t the biggest fan of every single song.” Senior Connie Knipe, on the other hand, wasn’t a fan. “The music wasn’t very good,” she explained, “and there were many instances in which no one would dance because they didn’t know the song.”

The coat check system was also a point of contestation. Although some students -like Tan – enjoyed the opportunity to do service hours, others found the coat check system to be a little chaotic, especially towards the end of the night. Solomon noted, “My least favorite part had to be getting my coat and bag after the dance, it got messy at the end and I almost lost my heels.”

Overall, the homecoming dance was a success. Almost everyone, teachers and students, seem to have had a good time. In the words of Barbara Tan, “My favorite part was creating a memory with the people that I went through high school with.”

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