Class of 2023 celebrates homecoming dance


Photo by Maddie Bell '23.

Inside the gymnasium students dance to music played by a DJ. Students are here for the majority of the night.

A warm burst of air greets students as they enter the building from the brisk outdoors. A heavy, thumping bass grows louder as students move towards the gymnasium. The blue cafeteria tables are adorned with vibrant flower arrangements. In the hallway, students line up for various activities. It’s the night of the senior homecoming dance.

Roughly 320 seniors from Staples High School attended their homecoming dance on Saturday, Oct. 15, from 7:00-9:30 p.m. Food and drinks, a DJ, tarot card reading, airbrush tattoos and games were all included in the dance with purchase of a $50 ticket. 

Staff checks students in by last name at four stations. Pictured here, Margaret Gomez (right) and Nell-Ayn Lynch (left) are responsible for last names M-Z. (Photograph taken by Maddie Bell ’23)

Despite homecoming being an exciting event for seniors, there was one rule that created mixed opinions on the event: only Staples seniors could attend. This meant that no significant others, friends from different grade levels or people from other schools were permitted inside the dance as a date. This rule also set homecoming apart from other dances, like Counties, where dates of different grades and schools can come. 

I believe attending the homecoming dance is a right of passage. Because we are such a large class, an event for strictly seniors seems so intimate. I think it’s a chance to bond and grow stronger.

— Ari Lerner ’23.

Anna Maiolo ’24 shared her opinion on this rule. 

 “I am someone with a boyfriend who goes to a different school,” Maiolo said. “Given that I’ll be attending the dance next year, it is disappointing that homecoming is strictly for Staples seniors. I wish I could share the moment with him too.” 

On the contrary, Ari Lerner ’23 sees homecoming as an opportunity to bond as a class. 

One of the many activities – psychic readings – is very popular among attendees. Students ask about college acceptances and relationships (Photo by Maddie Bell ’23).

“I believe attending the homecoming dance is a right of passage. Because we are such a large class, an event for strictly seniors seems so intimate,” Lerner said.“I think it’s a chance to bond and grow stronger.”

Despite some common critiques, the atmosphere on Saturday night was very lively. All night one could find students jumping up and down to popular, upbeat music. Staff were inviting and everybody kept themselves busy until the end of the night. 

Health teacher Kelly Shamas was responsible for organizing the dance. With that responsibility, clearly, comes lots of stress. However, Shamas reflected upon the dance without any negativity, encompassing the way students felt this past Saturday night.  

“I really wanted you guys to feel like, this is our class,” Shamas said. “I think your class is awesome[…] I had a great time Saturday night. There was no questionable behavior and [the dance] was really enjoyable.”