Homecoming Dance Brings Excitement to Students


Chloe Boyd

Westwood students take chips to play Poker and other card games. Photo courtesy of Chloe Boyd.

The 2021 Homecoming dance was what one would call a success as a whole. However, despite an all-around success, there were quite a few flaws that ultimately led to some of the students not enjoying it nearly as much as they should have.

This year’s theme was casino night, a seemingly fun and unique event theme, especially for a homecoming dance. One of the highlights of the dance was the casino tables with a display of games, including poker, blackjack, and craps. Students flocked to get a taste of the mature games, and there seemed to be a particular type of excitement in the room. The students had primarily good feedback about the casino part. However, everything had flaws, including the casino tables and the dealers, the dealers are primarily made up of parents who were volunteering. One of their biggest and most frequent mistakes was the dealers giving students the incorrect amount of chips or not giving them their chips at certain points when the students had won or tied. Another issue I had with the casino tables was their staffing. There were many moments where the tables were not staffed and students waiting for an opportunity had to wait longer than anticipated. The tables were placed in the atrium, one of the larger areas in Westwood, where you would expect there to be enough room. However, the atrium was overcrowded and students swarmed around tables waiting with exhilaration to get a turn. The atrium had different sections for different games, and even included a senior section. The setup was probably the best way to organize the tables, and I applaud them for that.

“I really liked the theme, it was really fun,”  Lamar Childers IV ‘23 said. “I found it slightly unorganized, but I overall really enjoyed “gambling.” People also talked about it outside the dance which was good.” 

The term “dance” was used to describe the event, but the actual dance part was probably the worst part of the function. The music choices were mediocre, students could not choose the songs they wanted played like previous years, it was too warm in the cafeteria, and there was no real concern for students’ safety. Students were standing on chairs at some points to get above the crowd, creating a dangerous environment for themselves and the people surrounding them. I even witnessed two female students fall from a chair, landing on a few people and knocking them down. Additionally, students were crowd surfing, creating more danger than necessary. The fact that there was no one stopping this behavior is concerning. Some of these antics could’ve ended in severe injury. Moreover, students were being lifted on chairs and being carried throughout the crowd. The fact that students took these chairs and used them in this connotation is probably the worst thing. 

“I thought it was fun, nothing bad happened, but something bad could have happened,” Lamar Childers IV ‘23 said. “People did start holding their friends on their backs because of it. It was an interesting choice, but I’m glad no one got hurt.”

After dancing and partying with your friends, you may be enticed to  a snack or a refreshment. Students were told that refreshments and food would be provided, and they fulfilled that. According to the volunteer who continuously yelled out to students entering and exiting the lecture hall, students were offered one bag of chips, one party bag filled with popcorn, and one cookie.  There were also no posters or any displays showing where the food was. The refreshments, which only consisted of water in giant water jugs, were not even refreshing. The jugs had lukewarm water, and the floor surrounding the jugs was littered with trash and water that students had spilled. All around, food and refreshments were incredibly mediocre. 

Lastly, getting into the dance couldn’t have been more chaotic. There were two lines: one for students with bags that needed to be checked and the other for students who didn’t have bags. The one with the bag check had a ridiculously long wait time for them just to open the bag and complete the “search” with a quick glance. All the fliers regarding the dance stated that students would need to bring their IDs to enter, however, this was not the case. Volunteers only checked for tickets and the completed slip of paper with student signatures regarding COVID-19 exposure. Students got stamps that faded within 10 minutes of students acquiring them. The best part of this section was the coat check. It was organized and easy to sort through. The volunteers working the coat check had an amazing system and there was barely any traffic. 

 This dance had its ups and downs, but all around, it was solid. Students had overwhelmingly good feedback, and they really appreciated the theme and what was brought with it.