Evolution of homecoming

Over the years, Homecoming has undergone major changes while still holding onto beloved traditions

Heels clink against the hard wooden floor as laughter bounces off the walls. Cameras flash as students dance. The music blares while the sea of people grin ear to ear. ‘And the Homecoming king and queen is…’

Every year around mid-September, Stevenson holds its annual Homecoming dance. Student council organizes the event, and this year’s theme is ‘through the looking glass’ inspired by the movie “Alice in Wonderland”. Decorations will include fun house mirrors and imagery from the movie.

Homecoming has evolved greatly over the years according to art teacher Katie Hyken ‘04.

“It was more formal; [we] went to dinner before at a nice restaurant and wore long, formal dresses.” Hyken said.

Today, girls wear shorter dresses and reserve the long formal dresses for Prom. Another noticeable change is that Homecoming is a lock-in event so students cannot leave the dance until 10 p.m. whereas in previous years it was not.

“[We] went to the dance for twenty minutes to take pictures and find our names on the wall and then leave,” psychology teacher Jenna Breuer ’02 said.

This change greatly impacted the amount of students in the dance, because students were flowing in and out the dance wasn’t as packed as it is now.

Additionally, Homecoming in the past focused more towards the events before and after, rather than the dance itself. Students now gather to take pictures together before the dance and then go to “after parties” after the dance. Before, students would go to a nice dinner and an activity after such as ice skating, so the entire night was very expensive, Breuer said.

    As for how students are asked to the dance, in the past it was more of an informal “will you go to the dance with me?,” but it has since turned into elaborate proposals with things such as cookie cakes and posters with creative puns. Students typically don’t get asked until the week before but leave plenty of time for planning.

“I always think it’s so funny that [the students] know who they’re going with and what they’re wearing but they haven’t been asked yet,” Breuer said.

However, one thing that hasn’t changed is the social atmosphere in which Homecoming encompasses. Friends getting together and having a good time is all that Homecoming is about.

“There used to be a lot more pressure to have a date since people didn’t go to the dance in groups,” Breuer said.

The type of music being played at the dance has also changed greatly over the years. Despite this, the energy and spirit has remained constant. “Homecoming went from a Wedding reception to a club atmosphere” David Eddy, student activities coordinator, said. The goal is to create a hyped up vibe that gets kids dancing. As the generations of students change, so does the music that was being played. Homecoming originally only had one band and it played a majority of slow songs. The school now hires a DJ company that works for high schools, but their goal is to create a club style atmosphere at high school dances, Eddy said.

Homecoming is still a popular event with students as it allows them to come together to socialize and have fun. The music brings the students together in a way that is special to Homecoming.

“Homecoming is an experience,” Eddy said. “I know I couldn’t go elsewhere and get this same large, spectacular production.”