A Homecoming Dance Back in Time

Backdrop

The Invite

“EWW! NO! I don’t want to be in a hot gym room with a bunch of teenagers I don’t know,” was my initial reaction when my baby sister, Destiny, asked me if I could attend her high school homecoming with her. My experiences with high school dances, for the most part, were uninteresting, pricey, and socially exhausting. I found no reason to waste a good Friday night going to an event that I would not enjoy being at. However, what made those dances tolerable was the presence of my closest friends at the time. I know what it feels like to attend a social event and spend the majority of your time being a wallflower. My friends and close companions created a sense of comfort and belonging for me during these events, and I believe that’s what my sister wanted to have as well. Like me, my sister did not attend her freshman, sophomore, or junior year homecoming, so the homecoming of 2019 was her only chance to attend this event before graduation. Maybe I could be that factor that allowed Destiny to let loose and have a great time. With this in mind, I halfheartedly accepted Destiny’s invitation. I was sure this event couldn’t be as bland as I was picturing it. 

Pre-Homecoming Dance Pictures

Homecoming Look

The day of the dance, my sister did not hesitate to pull out all the stops with her appearance [Insert three clapping hand emoji’s]. The following is a description of her homecoming dance look. First, the makeup: glittery, gold eyeshadow, nude-toned lip gloss, and dramatic false lashes. Next, her hair: passion twists pulled to one side with slicked edges. Now the outfit: a stretchy, goldish-yellow fitted dress. For the shoes: black open-toed wedges, and accessories: silver Pandora bracelet, diamond stud earrings, and gold studded black purse with a gold chain. Last, but definitely one of the most important, nails: sparkly, French gold tips.

#EarlyGang

After our mini photoshoot of Destiny’s HC look, we made our way toward the high school. You could say we were apart of the #EarlyGang because only the setup crew seemed to be present during our arrival. The gym where the event was located in was slightly smaller than my high school’s gymnasium. The room was set up quite nicely. There was a buffet section comprised of various pizzas, wings, pasta dishes, triangular sandwiches, and drinks. The drinks had to be retrieved from a boxed container with a pouring handle (less likely chance for the punch to get spiked that way). The stage/DJ setup faced the opposite end of the doors. A designated photoshoot area was placed towards the corner left side of the room. Four lunchroom benches with party decor lined both sides of the gymnasium. Destiny and I decided to sit at one of the benches as we watched more people spill in. I was able to sit back and watch how Destiny interacted with her peers, as well as meet a few of them. It seemed to me that Destiny mostly associated herself with the kind and shy type, which is exactly what her own personality is like. Following several introductions, I insisted that we take photos near the backdrop before the crowd comes. 

Destiny Has Two Boyfriends?!

Two Boyfriends

The line to take pics with the shimmery gold and maroon backdrop wasn’t long. However, as we approached the line, I noticed that there wasn’t an official photographer positioned in this area. I quickly scanned the area to find someone I could ask that could take our photos. Before I could find anyone, two handsome guys approached Destiny with friendly “Hey’s” and hugs to follow. One guy asked if Destiny and I were related. Destiny softly replied, “Yes, that’s my sister.” The first guy, let’s call him Mason, reached out to shake my hand after introducing himself to me. The second guy, let’s call him Al’trell, opened up his arms for a hug after his introduction. I accepted both gestures in return.

Destiny and I were next for photos with the backdrop, and the two guys didn’t miss a beat when offering to take our photos. Once our photo session was over, the guys returned our phones and retreated back into the crowd. I looked over at Destiny, who was gazing at her phone, and started shimmying my shoulder next to hers. “Mmm Desssstinyyyy,” I said teasingly, “Two boyfriends? You’ve been holding back on me.” Destiny laughed and waved her hand disagreeing. “They’re just friends,” she replied. “Mhm, yeah, sure,” I mumbled under my breath as we made our way towards the buffet section. 

 

Show Me What Ya Got

Long story short, after my sister and I finished maxing three pieces of pizza and two hot wings with a side of water, we had to get our butts on the dance floor to burn those calories off.  The music that was being pumped through the speakers consisted mostly of hip-hop and R&B songs, with brief moments of Latin line dance songs. It was interesting to observe how the majority of black students would hit the floors as hip-hop or R&B songs came on while the other non-black student watched from the lunchroom benches. Then vice versa, as the Latin music was played.

During my high school homecoming, many black students attempted to dance to the Latin line dance music or eagerly partnered with students familiar with the dance. At this homecoming, no more than two visibly black students remained on the dance floor during the Latino songs. I attempted to participate in the song “Payaso de Rodeo,” however, witnesses will tell you that I nearly tripped over my own feet trying to keep up. I eventually asked a student who participated in the dance if they could break down the dance routine to me. That being said, if I EVER attend another event that plays this song, Y’ALL BETTER WATCH OUT!

Sweep Me Away

Dip

When another Latin dance song came on, instead of retreating to the benches, Destiny and I decided to dance awkwardly along to the song. We swayed and twirled each other humorously. Surprisingly, the two guys from before returned, asking to dance with us, and we happily agreed. Mason took Destiny’s hands, and hip swayed her out of my line of sight. Al’trell took my hands and moved his hips and feet along to the beat. I was a bit intimidated at first. I wasn’t used to dancing with someone who clearly knew what they were doing. I followed his lead and he also gave me a few pointers like staying on my toes and loosening my hips. He was full of surprises. I was twirled and even dipped (I wasn’t sure if I could come back up from that dip though). After a few more sways he told me that my hands were warm, which I translated as, “your hands are sweaty.” That would have been a major “LMAO FML” moment if I was still in high school, but I wasn’t. I’m a big girl now. So I blamed my sweaty palms on the fact that I was holding my phone all night, which he smiled and nodded to.

Destiny and Mason eventually came back into my line of sight as Al’trell asked about my age. For the sake of feeling like an elder amongst these high schoolers, I slightly bumped up my age to 20 (I’m actually 19). I could see the shock on his face as he asked what university, if any, I attended. He then asked me to guess his age. Now, Destiny already told me previously that these two guys were seniors like her, but for the sake of causing tension and teasing these young bloods, I told him he looked around 15-16 years old. Over the booming music, he informed me that he was a senior. I gasped and with a surprised tone I said, “I thought you were a junior!”

He stepped back a bit and asked if Destiny told me that, to which I replied, “yes.”  Al’trell turned around to locate Destiny and confront her. Once he found her, along with Mason, he playfully yelled, “Destiny I’ve known you for four years! Why did you tell your sister that I’m a junior?” Destiny yelled back in confusion “I told her you were both seniors!” My sinister self shouted, “You said junior!” Destiny laughed and screamed, “No, I didn’t!” We all laughed after that. The guys kept us company for a while longer before joining the crowd once again. Destiny and I kept our distance from the crowd. If anything, we were in our own little bubble, enjoying each other’s company and imitating Tina Belcher’s tweaking style as Megan Thee Stallion pumped through the speakers.

Give Me One Last Strut

Flashing Lights

As the night was wrapping up, Destiny took more photos with friends, including  Mason and Al’trell, then a few bathroom pics with me, (because bathroom pics are a must for every social event, duh). We called up our driver and made our way toward the front of the school. The way my sister’s high school is designed there are numerous steps you have to take before getting to ground level, so I whipped out my phone and went to Snapchat. As I turned my flash on, I told Destiny to give me one last strut before concluding our night out. She complied and gave me her best, and slightly humorous, catwalk in her three-inch wedges.

“Yasss you are giving me face. You are giving me body. You are giving me a baby trying to take its first steps vibes!” Laughter filled the air from the front of the school to the inside of our driver’s car. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you make the best out of a high school homecoming dance! Also, if I EVER attend another event that plays “Payaso de Rodeo,” Y’ALL BETTER WATCH OUT!