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18k Homecoming Dance

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A tradition at high schools all over the country, the big homecoming game and the dance that usually follows is a source of excitement for many students. Despite this, one of the largest schools in the Long Beach school district, Poly High School, has not had a homecoming dance in 10-11 years – that is until Saturday, October 6, when Poly students flocked to the Big Gym to start the tradition up again.

“It’s just not been something we’ve done in 10 to 11 years. The reason is that there was a low turnout in interest among the students, and I think that’s why we didn’t have one for a very long time,” said Vincent Puth, Poly’s Activities director. There was certainly interest this year.

The dance theme, “18k Gold”, held a lot of significance for the organizers. “18k stands for eighteen-carat gold, and basically it’s gold and the year twenty eighteen combined,” Senior Senate homecoming dance organizer Dalavy Hak explained. Transforming the gym into the ultimate dance space, Senior Senate was able to snag a DJ, an ice cream truck, food, and of course, tons of people.

Hak described the challenges of organizing the dance: “As it is our first homecoming dance in a really long time, and it was hard getting everything together. But it’s good preparation for us because the Senior Senate is going organizing prom later on in the year as well.” Hannah Samaniego, another member of Senior Senate, said that the hardest part was making the gym not look like the gym and make it look really pretty.

“The gym was pitch black with lasers and a loud DJ. They had gold themed decorations such as streamers, gold balloons and a place to take pictures,” Poly freshman Samantha Victoria described.

While the Senior Senate was preoccupied with planning, the talk around the entire school in the weeks leading up to the event was all about the dance, whether you had

bought tickets yet, who were you going with, and what you were going to wear. During lunch almost every day leading up to the dance, you could hear the claps and cheers of fellow students as someone held up a poster asking another student to the dance. The line for the banker was long almost every day, as people were trying to buy tickets in advance.

Samantha Victoria, who went to the dance, said that there were about six hundred or so people in attendance, and added, “Someone said that they sold 700 tickets, but most people showed up later.” Tickets sold out in advance, leaving some students disappointed and unable to attend.

Poly freshman Sophia Graves said that while she would’ve loved to go because all of her friends went, she was unable. “The tickets sold out before I was able to get one, and I was also swamped with homework on the weekend,” she said, “but from what I heard, it sounded like a blast, and I’m disappointed I missed out.”

The story was different for those who got their tickets early. Seniors seemed to be especially excited.

“I was super excited for this years Homecoming Dance, Poly has never had one before so it feels great to be a senior and to experience this for the first time. The theme was also super cute!” Said PACE senior Sandra Berenice Rosas about the dance.

“I’m happy that Poly finally had a Homecoming dance! I always wondered why we didn’t have one but I’m thrilled to go with my boyfriend. I had fun picking out my dress and getting ready with my friends,” said CIC senior Gladys Salamon Mora.

“About time! Homecoming was like a breath of fresh air to Poly. It’s exciting to have something new brought to campus. I’ve been to all the dances at Poly and I was super ecstatic to learn that Homecoming was coming to Poly, and it just seems right since all other high schools have one,” said MEDS senior Ashley Salgado.

It was a new experience for underclassmen, too.

“I think that HOCO is a great way to bring school spirit, and it [would] probably be a really fun experience. I really liked the HOCO week, so I’m expecting to have fun at the dance too,” said CIC freshman Miya Yasumura before the dance.

After the dance, Yasamura was somewhat disappointed but still kept a positive spirit. “I was bummed out because I had to pay for the ticket and pay for the food but nevertheless, I still had fun and I’m looking forward to going with my friends next year,” said Yasumura.

Shafiq Amat, a freshman in PACE described his expectations before the dance: “I thought the HOCO dance was going to be like a regular Hughes dance where you just dance and stand in the corner after you get tired.”

However, after the dance, he had some advice for those who would go next year. “When I actually went there it was kind of boring because I didn’t have a date. If you want to go to HOCO dance next year, make sure you have a date because you will feel left out. It was kind of fun though, the music was okay,” said Amat.

Despite some students feeling less enthusiastic, when asked whether she thought the dance was a success, organizer Hannah Samaniego exclaimed with a huge grin on her face, ¨Yes, of course!¨

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