Blue & White Hosts First Dance Since Pandemic Tomorrow

Tah'niyah Jackson and Alexia Johnson

Norristown will be hosting its first-ever seniors-only homecoming dance and first official school dance in over a year tomorrow following this evening’s homecoming festivities due to concerns with the COVID-19 pandemic.

In past years, homecoming has been a whole school event, but Blue and White had to take every precaution. Originally because of these concerns, there was going to be no homecoming, but seniors rallied with compelling arguments and, after months of planning, the homecoming dance was on, taking place outside with a reduced crowd. 

Some seniors were disappointed that their last homecoming would not be like those they’ve had before, but many appreciate the dance regardless.  

“At least we have the dance, this is our last homecoming,” says Mariah Rouse.

The seniors exclusive homecoming may have upset a lot of students, but the end decision had to be practical. Money was also a factor in who could attend the homecoming. Blue and White did not have the funds to host four separate homecomings to account for every grade.  

Some of the seniors are more understanding of the circumstances even if they are disappointed their underclass friends cannot join them. “I’m glad we get to have one,” said Rouse. “It brings back a sense of normalcy.”

Other seniors also see this decision as progress towards normalcy considering the circumstances. 

“It made me feel optimistic about future dances, working towards a somewhat normal year,” said Ashley Carmona.

Underclassmen also had their opinions about not being able to attend homecoming and even voting for homecoming court. 

 “I feel like it wasn’t a good decision. Separate homecomings for underclassmen would have been a better idea,” said a junior who wishes to remain anonymous. “I don’t think the decision was fair overall. They could’ve tried harder to be inclusive.”

While the decision to make homecoming a seniors-only event is not ideal, it does have its benefits. Most of the seniors haven’t been in school since sophomore year and did not get to attend homecoming last year. This is the last year seniors can have high school experiences. Some students are worried about not having a proper prom because of the rise of the Delta variant over the winter. 

“I understand the other side, but I’m grateful,” said Carmona. “Eventually [the underclassmen] are going to be able to have dances.I feel like they should be more understanding that only seniors can have it.”

“It’s better to have a dance with some of our classmates if we can’t have everyone,” said senior Gloria Villalva. 

This is the third senior class affected by the pandemic, and while it is a much better experience for them than their predecessors, everything isn’t back to normal, and this seniors-only dance is one step forward.

“I like it. This is our last year and I think we should be able to enjoy every part of it,” said senior Damadia Moody.

One of the changes to the original plans was losing tents and heaters, but there will be a hot chocolate station. DJ Pooda will also be playing music and keeping students dancing. 

“We are doing to best we can,” said Blue and White adviser Kate Bartlett, “We added a hot chocolate station for the dance. It’s going to be cold. I suggest you come in your dresses, come in your fancy wear, but maybe bring sweatpants.”

Also because of the pandemic, Blue & White wasn’t able to hold its famous pep rally for the second in a row. They will instead be hosting a parade before the football game to celebrate the Norristown school.

“We decided to highlight our athletes, our clubs, our events. Things that we do at the school in parade form,” said Bartlett. 

Having a parade was the plan pre-Covid because it was a past tradition that they are bringing back and that is “back for good.”

Tonight at the parade the step team and Latin dance troupe will perform and it will take place between 6:35pm-6:55pm before the football game.