Creative alternatives for second high school dance

Emma Hellerich, Staff Reporter

Jenna Haswell and her date, Parker Sphar, enjoy Panera Bread while staying safe amidst COVID-19 on Jan. 30, 2021

As student’s school activities have been canceled and revised, many students are looking for a way to bring some sense of normalcy back into their life.

Twice during the school year, all students are given the opportunity to attend two dances: fall Homecoming and winter Homecoming. Due to the first quarter being hybrid with COVID-19 cases still up, the school did not host a fall Homecoming dance. 

Since De Soto High School has gone back completely in-person, students have been finding creative alternatives to spend time with friends while staying safe.

Although there was no dance hosted at DHS, there was still a winter Homecoming court, just like with fall Homecoming.

During the first semester when Homecoming rolled around, many participated in what is commonly known as “FOCO,” a fake homecoming. Although only a handful of students participated, many had a different way of carrying out the festivities the previous semester. 

Jenna Haswell, a sophomore at DHS, celebrated winter Homecoming while still keeping her traditions somewhat the same as the year before.

“I went with one person, my boyfriend Parker Sphar. We went to dinner at Panera Bread like we did last year, but because there was no dance, we tried to keep the tradition close to last year,” Haswell said. 

Another way students celebrated was with small groups and going out to dinner. 

Senior Tessa Langton was a part of a small group for her last high school dance. 

“We went out to eat, four people including myself, then went back to the apartment and hung out with around 10 people, including myself,” Langton said. 

Even though the school did not host a dance, this was no problem for Langton and her friends.

“I’d say it was equally as fun, I would’ve done the same thing regardless but when there is an actual dance and event it is easier to make plans,” Langton said. 

Alternatives were found to carry out some type of getting together amongst friends, but Haswell wishes the school was able to host a WOCO.

“I think it [DHS] would be able to have a WOCO. Less people go to winter Homecoming anyways, and if they opened it up to the whole gym it would be less crowded than it being in a third of the auxiliary gym,” Langton said. 

Haswell also agrees that DHS should have held a WOCO dance

“Yes, definitely [should have been WOCO], if there can be sports and other activities there should be a school dance so everyone can get a true high school experience,” Haswell said.

Not only was another dance canceled, but incoming freshmen haven’t had the chance to experience a high school dance. 

Sawyer Brace, a freshman at DHS as well as someone who has never had the full high school experience due to COVID-19, wishes the school had a dance.

“It was going to be our second dance and it would have been fun, so I’m kind of bummed out,” Brace said. “I’ve missed most of it, we haven’t really been able to have as much fun or go to events in big groups.”

For most students at DHS, this year has been difficult, games have been canceled, dances and the traditional high school experience is gone for incoming freshmen.

During these uncertain times with many let downs, everyone is doing their best to look at the bright side and still have fun, just not the ways students have been able to in the past. 

Many students have had many creative alternatives for the dance, being with small groups, social distancing, and doing their best as to how they would have done things if it was a “normal year”. 

Next year maybe DHS will be able to have a year where all grades can have the high school experience.