As members of the Class of 2020 enter their senior year, the pressure to perform the perfect Homecoming skit and dance seems to intensify. The seniors want to end high school on a high note, according to senior and class president Armond (Army) Bigler.
This year, the overarching Homecoming theme was childhood cartoon TV shows, and each class’s representatives came together to brainstorm ideas and come up with the final four class shows. Bigler comments on the reasoning behind choosing Scooby Doo as 2020’s theme.
“We decided [on] cartoon TV shows because those are things that are simple enough to paint,” Bigler said. “We decided on Scooby Doo because it’s original. It’s very well known and we just thought, nobody hates Scooby Doo, you know?”
Both Bigler and senior class vice-president Anna Kolesov agree that this has been the classes’ most successful year in terms of student engagement in rally games, skits, dances and art. Many seniors have decided to participate in homecoming, despite not engaging in previous years, and Bigler attributes this increased engagement to the fact that it’s their last year.
“This year we tried to make it as inclusive as possible and of course, it’s senior year, so a lot of people are like, ‘Hey, it’s my last year, let’s make it fun,’” Bigler said. “So we got a lot more attendance in dances than ever before. Our co-ed dances initially had about 80 people, which is decreasing as people realize the workload, but that’s a lot compared to last year, [which was] just 30 or so.”
Although increased student participation can be a positive for the senior’s Homecoming skit, Kolesov explains how it can be one of their biggest weaknesses as well. In particular, the senior class office struggled with accommodating such a large group of seniors.
“I feel like the biggest challenge is working with the amount of time we have because there is so much to do and so much more to coordinate,” Kolesov said. “So many people from our class wanted to be dancers. That’s amazing and we love that participation, but it was just a little hard to coordinate everything because we weren’t used to it. So I’m just trying to make sure that everyone understands the choreography.”
As one of the choreographers for the co-ed dance, senior Ariella Murphy also agrees that having a large number of participants makes coordination much more difficult. Additionally, having win Homecoming last year as juniors added pressure because many people have high expectations for the Class of 2020.
“Especially since we won Homecoming last year and it was so good, I think I can speak for at least most of the choreographers when I say it’s a lot of pressure. You don’t want to win your junior year and then lose your senior year,” Murphy said. “For the partner dance, we felt a lot of pressure because it’s at the end of this skit and our last dance together. We wanted to make it really fun and pretty simple so that everybody can do it.”
Despite these challenges, Murphy was able to shift her focus to the legacy the seniors, including herself, want to leave with their skit and dances. Murphy, alongside senior Alyssa Hui, chose specific songs for the co-ed dance that could relate back to this year being their final year of high school.
“In the mix, the first song is ‘Perfect Strangers,’ which specifically has the lyrics ‘maybe it’s not forever,’” Murphy said. “We chose songs that basically had very subliminal messages. The second song is really out there because the lyrics say, ‘I never want to leave this town. But one day, the time may come,’ and there’s a part that says ‘I’ll hate the goodbyes. I won’t forget the good times.’”
While Murphy and Hui chose to leave an impact through the song selection, Bigler wanted 2020’s Homecoming experience to leave a legacy by reiterating the importance of unity and living in the moment.
“The inclusivity that we had this year outweighs any outcome of what happens during homecoming,” Bigler said. “I’m just going to try to live in the present and make this as fun as possible for everyone.”