Written in the stars: the return of homecoming



Lyle Dodson Jr. (12), Tamia Elliot (12), Natela Bonaparte (12), Christina Askew (12), Nevaeh Edwards (12), A’ziya Wills (12), Kierston Conner (12) and Brooklynn Smith (12) pose in front of one of the photo walls set up in the east gym. After a long three years of being denied a homecoming dance, hundreds of seniors and underclassmen flocked to attend the long-awaited event.

For Christina Askew (12), the 24 hours before Sept. 17, 2022, were a shock, to say the least. Only 24 hours prior, Askew was crowned homecoming queen; only eight hours prior had she found a dress for the dance. Nevertheless, Askew donned her shining crown as she entered the doors to White Station’s 2022 football homecoming dance. 

The pièce de réisistance of White Station’s homecoming week has traditionally been the dance, and this year, seniors were able to experience it one last time.

“I thought a lot of people would be like, ‘Oh, it’s a high school dance. It’s going to be lame,’ but everybody was so into it,” Askew said. “Everybody was dancing and not caring about anything.”

As homecoming is an inclusive event, meaning even freshmen were able to enjoy the festivities. For the majority of Spartans, this was their first White Station dance, and even some’s first high school dance. 

“It was more intense than I thought it would be,” Alexandra Byrd (9) said. “I didn’t know we would all be stuck together, but it was actually pretty fun being in a big group of people.”

Not only were underclassmen able to branch out, but even upperclassmen such as Nevaeh Edwards (12) enjoyed the highly social aspect of the dance. As over 500 students were packed into the east gym, students were nearly forced to interact with those next to them. 

“I remember at the freshmen dance, I was really shy because I was young and this was something really new to me,” Edwards said. “This year, I was very open and had so much more fun talking to new people. I feel like I was able to enjoy it more because I was less in my shell.”

The kaleidoscope of bouncing lights, vibrating beat of the music and huddles of flashlights and students filled the gym, creating an atmosphere of excitement and Spartan camaraderie. As the DJ set the lively dynamic, the music matched the energetic mood of the students and vice versa. 

“My favorite part was when they played Last Friday Night because everyone knew the lyrics, so the whole gym was dancing and singing,” Byrd said. 

Like many other school events, the homecoming dance was canceled in 2021 and 2022 due to COVID-19. Last year, after learning there would be no dance, some were outraged, others were understanding, but many were mainly disappointed. 

“I wish we had a dance last year because I enjoyed this one so much, but I know it was necessary because of COVID, and the next Monday morning, so many people would have been sick,” Edwards said. 

White Station’s faculty and Executive Board aim to facilitate multiple dances, pep rallies and sports games throughout the year, all chances for students to connect with others and cultivate a sense of school pride. These events do not go unnoticed by many of the students who appreciated the opportunity to convene with friends outside of school.

“These school events create more school spirit and people are just happy to be there overall,” Byrd said. “Seeing your friends outside of school and in a less stressful setting is nice.”

Ending a week of posters filling the halls and eccentric outfits, White Station’s special starry night not only celebrated homecoming, but also celebrated Spartans coming together as one.  

“Spartan pride is at an all-time high right now,” Askew said. “No one is doing it like us. Everyone is dressing up, our days were great, everything was just great. I can’t think of a single bad day.”