A New Kind of Dance – Homecoming 2020

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Emily Winter and Ava Peters

The 3 p.m. hair appointments were canceled. The hours spent looking for a dress on Revolve had been wasted. There were no awkward homecoming-proposal pictures for the freshmen. There was no Homecoming at all.

“I had found out through word of mouth and I was really disappointed, but it one hundred percent made sense,” senior Colin Fitzgerald said. “There is no way we could’ve had a big homecoming.”

Many seniors were upset about not getting to experience one of their final high school dances, so they decided to have a fake homecoming—a foco. Students from every grade were beginning to plan their focos

One group of seniors decided to stage their make-up dance outside, included with dinner and an afterparty. Mascara swiped the eyelashes of girls getting ready together in senior Maisie Sheets’ backyard. The boys still got to keep their shower and show up routine. 

Pictures were one part of the night that remained the same as in the past years. Popular locations like Loose Park and the Verona Columns were flooded with masked teenagers in high heels and suits on multiple October weekends. 

The Tavern and a variety of country clubs were swapped out for backyards with plastic folding tables and chairs. The once-elaborate dinners now featured catered Chick-Fil-A and Raising Canes. 

 Since SM East had been closed off to visitors since March, the actual homecoming dance was sure to be canceled. While the freshmen hadn’t gotten to experience the joy of the cafeteria on homecoming night, the sophomores, juniors, and seniors were sad to see it go. 

Whether it was a quick stop by to say “hi,” or making use of the $10 tickets by slipping out of three-inch heels and dancing for an hour or two, the dance was always a momentous part of the night.

Following their dinner, one group of sophomores decided to go for more of a classic afterparty theme to make dressing up easy: Hawaiian. A colorful lei or Hawaiian shirt from Target would do the job. 

Other groups, like junior Kate Rasmussen’s, came up with more elaborate ideas. In their case, it was a Vegas theme. Costumes ranged from brides and bachelorette parties to movie characters. 

“I was Alan [from The Hangover]” junior Tyler Moore said. “I had a babydoll strapped to the front of my chest with a Hawaiian shirt and aviators.”

Focos helped make up for a portion of the experience that students wouldn’t get this year. But the lines that formed off the north ramp before the morning bell waiting to buy tickets, and the sight of friend groups in fancy dresses and ties instead of sweatpants, were irreplaceable. 

The seniors would never truly get their final high school homecoming, and the freshmen would never get their first. Homecoming would be another event added to the long list of ones that COVID-19 had taken away, but the memories of foco would last forever.