Crimson Aviator

The Student News Site of De Pere High School

Crimson Aviator

Crimson Aviator

Save the date!

High schoolers are not taking dates to Homecoming as much anymore
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Homecoming is nearly here. This year’s edition will be the third since its return in 2021. However, Homecoming may not be the same as it had been before its dissolvement in 2000 in at least one area. Culture clearly had some time to shift in those 21 years, one of the biggest social changes to the event being the dating scene.

A survey was sent to the students of De Pere High School by The Crimson Aviator. Students were asked both if they would be attending the Homecoming dance, and if they would be taking a date, or if it would just be with a group of friends. 

Of the students who took the survey, 90% said they would be attending the dance. Of that 90%, only 28% said they would be taking a date to this year’s Homecoming. Some believe that this has become a social construct. 

Sophomore Jackie Cummings says, “I think that weirdly enough, if you ask someone to Homecoming, you have that expectation of you’re gonna date soon or you’re already dating. It’s not like I just want to ask my friend to Homecoming.” 

Clearly, there is a view that dating is meant to be a more serious thing, even in high school. This view seems to have adapted to school dances and events as well.  

Social constructs may not be the only reason for this change. 

For example, many students report that the Homecoming dance rarely plays slow songs. Slow songs are the epitome of dances, especially in entertainment media. In many TV shows that portray high school dances, slow songs are typically the only ones being played. The lack of slow songs may be a primary reason for deferring the number of students who take dates.

However, the absence of slow songs is poor for both situations. A couple at the dance will never have that moment of intimacy, and the singles will never have an easy opportunity to make a move. 

When peer pressure is such a prominent factor in adolescence, high schoolers are more inclined to move out of their “comfort zone” if their peers are doing so as well. Slow dances could reignite the social aspect of the dance. 

In most cases, the social aspect and meeting new people are some of the main reasons why the dance, and school dances in general, exist. Moreover, the act of asking someone to the dance is a social experience, and most of the school seems to be missing out on it.  

The lack of dates seems to have evolved over time. Ms. Englebert, a teacher at DPHS, had similar experiences at her Homecoming dances. She emphasized that perhaps taking dates was a maturity thing, stating that more people took dates the older they got. 

“More than anything it was just meant as a fun night out,” Englebert said. “I think it wasn’t necessarily meant as the most romantic thing. I think it was way more, just meant for fun. Like going out to eat.” 

Enjoying oneself at the dance is a priority, more than the idea of stepping out of one’s comfort zone and taking a date. 

This is not completely the students’ fault, however. 

The staff of De Pere High School do not promote the dance, much less encourage the students to bring dates. 

“I think we have a group of students who really don’t care to go to a dance,” teacher Mrs. Soquet said. “They’d rather go hang out at a football game, or they’d rather just go to the tailgate and hang out.” 

Teenagers are not very susceptible to trying new things. Especially with romantic encounters, many are timid or awkward. 

Life rewards the brave. There is no guarantee that the date would even go perfectly, but the experience is worth it; there will always be a story to tell, and the night could very well be the time of their life. 

Additionally, people love getting asked. If there is uncertainty, just ask them. If they say no, or can’t go, surely they will still be flattered at the very thought. The time is now to have these experiences. 

High school lasts a short time, and these dances are a crucial and memorable part of the experience. By seizing chances to step out of one’s comfort zone, we can grow as individuals and help make connections that could last a lifetime. 

When the next dance comes around, don’t be afraid to jump out of that comfort zone. Seize the opportunity … maybe she will say yes.

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About the Contributor
Kade Miller, Reporter
Kade Miller is a senior this year. Kade was born in American Fork, Utah, and loves to go back anytime he can. Kade is a huge sports fan, mostly soccer and baseball. Kade is loyal to his teams no matter the score. He is planning to serve a 2-year religious mission for his church and attend college in Utah after he graduates.  

Comments (3)

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  • M

    Mrs. ProvostSep 27, 2023 at 12:10 pm

    Wow – very well written article, Kade!!! And definitely a great rationale behind the changes of #hoco over several decades!

    Reply
  • M

    Mrs. GuyetteSep 27, 2023 at 11:56 am

    Very well done article. The dynamics of a school dance have definitely changed since I was in HS (class of 1988). We had far more “slow” songs played, but that was awkward for students who didn’t have dates. I think overall it’s for the better that dances now are more about having a great time with a group of friends, and less pressure to bring a date.

    Reply
  • I

    Ian MackeySep 27, 2023 at 11:48 am

    Not everyone cares about dating, in High School or otherwise. I think that a decrease in pressure to bring a date to school dances is a good thing. Besides, for people who don’t want to date or “make a move” the only thing slow dances are is boring.

    Reply