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What Preparation Actually Goes into Creating the Homecoming Dance?

Every year, Flyers have a night filled with laughter and foolish, off-beat dancing, but do we actually know how much work Student Council puts into making Homecoming possible? Do we realize everything they have to accomplish before we can have the night of our lives? We only see the end result and are unaware of the hours of preparation, dozens of phone calls, and late nights spent planning out everything to a tee.

From late-May to mid-September, our STUCO representatives swing into full-on Homecoming mode. While we’re taking our end-of-year finals, Student Council begins planning the dance by deliberating over dozens of theme ideas and deciding which one would better suit LHS this school year: which would spark the most interest, create the most traction, and attract the most student attendees.

“We go through [our representatives] and everyone volunteers any theme idea and provides an explanation of what we can do for it: for example, what the entrance, hallways and gym would look like. At the end of the meeting, we could have fifty different theme ideas, so we vote to narrow it down. Once it gets down to three or four, we start to get serious about which one we could make the best out of the selected themes, and then we pick out of that,” Quinn Jones (12) said.

The theme process alone takes a couple of meetings, not including the preparation more passionate members put into creating powerpoints to promote their ideas. On their powerpoints, they include photos either from the internet or what other schools have made of that theme in previous years, so that they can have an idea of what the theme production would entail.

Once Student Council votes on a theme, they move to elect their president, vice president, and event chairs. As soon as these students are placed in their positions, Student Council starts cracking down and getting to work on the designs, decorations, and floor plan for the dance.

“We move to have a Homecoming General Chair at the end of the school year, and then over the summer we pick a theme and we pick a name for the dance. Depending how the summer shakes out and the time we have, we’ll start doing work days and start to get all the decorations
together,” Alex Foerstel (Student Council President, 11) said.

Student council leaders spend chunks of their summer vacation planning the details and making sure they’ll be ready to put on the finishing touches once school starts.

The newly-elected Homecoming General’s work also begins in the summer with phone calls, emails, and texts to put the materials in order for the representatives to begin working on the first day of school– students and teachers have probably seen them during fifth hour in the tens hallway creating the decorations.

“As the General of Homecoming, I make sure everything is getting done. One of my jobs is booking the DJ and making sure everything is reserved for the day of. I also make sure all the decoration chairs and chairs of Powderpuff, Hot Dog Dinner, and the bonfire are set up and ready to go. It’s up to the general to make sure everything runs smoothly,” Abbey Friedmann (Homecoming General Chair, 12) said.

It’s in Friedmann’s hands to organize the necessities that everyone at the dance will expect and oversee the various other event chairs and help them out when she’s needed to. Everyone on Student Council works tremendously hard to put on an amazing production, but by far, Friedmann puts in the most hours day-in and day-out.

“The amount of work that goes into Homecoming is a lot. Altogether, each person probably spends about 25 hours working on the dance, and there’s 50 [representatives], so that’s over 1,000 man hours of work. The Homecoming General Chair probably spends about 70 or 80 hours on the dance by herself,” Mark Pfeiffer (Student Council Advisor) said.

Along with thousands of hours of labor put into the production of the dance, the cost could prove to be a hassle. Thankfully, Student Council is able to fundraise the necessary money (and sometimes more).

“The hot dog dinner is going to cost us over $1,000; the bonfire will cost us around $400; all together, the decorations will cost us about $4,000 or $5,000; and the DJ costs us over $1,000. The total cost ends up being about $10,000 to $12,000 in just money. We get absolutely zero dollars from the school, so everything is fundraised. In previous years, the tickets have costed around $15, but over the last few years we’ve fundraised quite a bit, so we don’t feel that’s fair. We’ve dropped the price to $12, but just dropping that price from $15 to $12 is going to cost us $6,000. We sold cardinal tickets last year and put on events like the Dollar Dance [to fundraise for school events],” Pfeiffer said.

Fundraising takes place all throughout the school year, but the Dollar Dance proves to be a huge success. According to Pfeiffer, last year the Hawaiian-themed dance raised around $500. At this year’s dance, along with the admission fee, Student Council also sold glow sticks for 25¢,raising around $550.

The Friday that high schoolers [typically] get off of school serves as Student Council’s set-up day. After a whole day of set up, our Student Council representatives leave and rest up for the big day. Once that day hits, they’re busy putting everything in order: counting Court Votes, hanging the final decorations, and posing for group pictures. After everything’s said and done and the night comes to a close, Student Council gets to go home and relax before they tear down their months of preparation.

“The night of dance we all get to leave, but in the morning the next day we come in and tear everything down as fast as we possibly can because we’re all tired and set up takes a long time, then we stay here late into the night after the dance. Then we get it done in two or three hours and the week after we celebrate with a food day in class and we go over evaluate what went well, what didn’t go well, and what we can improve for next year in an all class meeting,” Foerstel said.

Homecoming General Chair: As Homecoming General Chair, Abbey Freidmann is a busy bee. She oversees about thirty event and decorations chairs while scheduling the DJ and organizing the decor materials.
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