East hosts unique Homecoming Dance during pandemic school year

A group of underclassmen demonstrate some brotherly love at the October 2nd Homecoming Dance in the main gym. The evening was broken into two separate dances — freshmen and sophomores attended from 6 until 8 p.m. and juniors and seniors attended from 8:30 until 10:30 p.m. Photo courtesy of Colleen Olson.

After a full year without an opportunity for students to celebrate a week of spirited festivities — including spirit days, competition, and excitement — East held its annual Homecoming Dance on Saturday, October 2nd, in the school’s gymnasium. 

Every year, students find dates, go shopping, dress up, and get ready for the big night. But this year, things were different. Due to COVID, the school’s dance was meant to be held outside, and it seemed as if the magic of the Homecoming Dance would be lost. 

As a response to the inclement weather that fell upon the community on Saturday, the decision was made to host the dance in the school’s gymnasium. Freshmen and sophomores would attend the dance from 6 until 8 p.m. The juniors would attend from 8:30 until 10:30 p.m.

Senior Student Council Co-President Allie Place said that she was heavily involved in the week’s preparations. 

“I am most excited about OE students getting to experience East traditions for their first time and some for their last,” Place added.

Junior Jack Ludoplh had to thank the student council for their efforts in planning the dance, especially as inclement weather caused the dance to be moved inside just one day before. 

“I was disappointed that the plans got messed up but I think that [the] student council did a really good job,” Ludolph stated. 

Leading up to the dance, sophomore Whitney Bier said that she felt nervous about being separated from the upperclassmen. 

“Going into it I thought [homecoming]  was going to be kind of boring without all four grades, but it was actually very fun,” Bier said. 

The atmosphere inside of the gym was electric. Simply walking the school, students could immediately hear the music pumping and their friends and peers screaming along with the songs. Entering the gym, the energy was palpable. Students were jumping up and down, dancing, and singing along to every single song the DJ would play.

“For how quick the plans changed, it was really fun,” senior Matthew Gutzwiller stated. 

After a freshman year without any of those first-year-in-high-school experiences, the class of 2024 should have been eager to participate in the traditions that they missed out on during their freshman year, which would have included the traditional Homecoming week festivities. 

Sophomore Sarah Allgaier said that she was thrilled to finally have been a part of a high school tradition. 

“It was so much fun to be with people [and to] get to experience something that was more normal [because] we haven’t had that in a while,” Allgaier said.

Junior Naima Morris said that she felt that Homecoming was a great way to show that East is truly back, like it never left. 

“Homecoming was crazy, sweaty, and one of the most fun experiences I’ve ever had,” Morris said. 

Jackson Wezeman is a staff writer for Oswego East High School’s online news magazine the Howl

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