Cultivating the seeds of fun: Secret Garden-themed Homecoming dance takes root at L-S

The walk into Homecoming 2015 feels like a scene straight from the pages of a fantasy novel. Little tea lights, bunches of flowers, and artisan wooden baskets line the walkway leading up to the ticket stand. Only the stand is not set up at a cheap, plastic table. The ticket takers wait underneath a metal gazebo of sorts, laced with lights and various blooms. Administrators conducted a bag check for the few students who brought a backpack. As with all school dances, there was a constable present.
Decorations for the "Secret Garden"-themed event
were a hit among attendees

The design of the hallways definitely impressed with beautiful simplicity. White paper flowers hung from the walls above pretty cream picket fences and nature-based murals. Some students thought that this theme would be underwhelming, but its wonderful d├ęcor blew the student body away. Mason jars filled with electric candles were set up along the way to the cafeteria. Tiny, twinkling lights always make people feel relaxed. Students stood just outside of the dance room, waiting for the music to pick up and friends to join their groups. Of course, they were all anxious to get inside and start the party.

The main room of the event did not disappoint. On one side of the room, a huge painting of trees brought the theme to life. A few scattered tables in that corner provided a place for couples to sit down and cool off with a few drinks. Parents and volunteers served drinks, such as lemonade, tea, and water. Candy -- probably due to Halloween's fast approach -- was served in the other corner. White lattice was propped up behind a line of seats, for others who were just looking to rest for a minute or two. Rainbow lights dazzled and bounced across the floors and walls.
More Homecoming decorations

Once the students started dancing (and they did almost immediately), the event really took off. Near the DJ booth, suggestion lists were available to the public. They could not play every song that was suggested, but they surprisingly played as many as they could. Most of the playlist consisted of the hot pop tracks of today. However, they did play a few classics, such as "Come On Eileen" and "Footloose". Overall, everyone seemed pretty pleased with the songs selected. They screamed with excitement before pretty much every track, proclaiming that this song was "their jam."

One recurring issue, however, was that the disk jockey would begin playing a song, but suddenly change it just as excitement and anticipation built. This happened a few times, and some were not too happy about it.

Dancing is always a risky business at school dances. There are always couples who choose to grind in the middle of the crowd, hoping they will not get caught by the group of supervisors patrolling the area for such crude behavior. Although, this year seemed surprisingly clean when it came to dance moves. Yes, as decades pass, the music pushes more boundaries, and the dance moves do as well. But no one really decided to go all out in that department. Dance circles were formed, and kids ran out into the middle to show off their dancing skills. The crowd always was encouraging, even when the dancer messed up.
For some, the "laughs and lightness" began hours before the event with photos

It was a night of laughs and lightness, and that was never forgotten. Students did the expected moves, such as the Macarena and the Cha Cha Slide. Some people impressed with old-fashioned swing dancing that seemed to have been practiced for weeks. No matter what the dance was, faces beamed and gleamed with sweat.

As the night drew to a close, the smiles never faded. Phones were taken out for selfies and silly videos of friends. Slow songs were danced to both seriously and sarcastically, so no one felt out of place. Girls and boys alike left the dance floor in a herd as Patrick Nightingale wished everyone a good night.

Freshman Sal Viscusi described the event as "fabulous."

"11/10. I'm glad I went," he expounds.

A large group of students, along with some staff members and parents, stayed after the dance to help clean up. It was a team effort, and the reorganization of the hallway and cafeteria was completed quicker than expected.

When asked about the dance a week before, the junior class officers had a lot of stress and doubts. Plans for the theme were executed at the last moment, so most were very worried. One member even said that he did not believe that the decorations would get done in time. But no one knew about their worries from the way everything turned out. 

The night cultivated an air of frivolity, and a propensity for memorability. The setup of the school epitomized the garden theme, shining with nature-inspired decorations. Almost every student danced and sang along to the words of every song and left with a smile on their face. It just goes to show that L-S High School has some extremely dedicated staff and students that can pull off a truly magical evening. 

Their plan may have started out as a little bit rocky and muddy, but once the seed of creation was planted, their secret garden themed homecoming dance grew into a glorious flower that impressed everyone with its effortless beauty and creativity.

--Lillian Murr, School News Editor. Homecoming decoration images courtesy of Mrs. Tina Shockey. Homecoming attendees image courtesy of Mrs. Beth Welchans.

Edited: BP

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