The conroversial return of RJR’s homecoming dance


Photo provided by Olivia Stubbs: Students pack into the auxiliary gym for the long-awaited homecoming dance.

Olivia Stubbs, Staff Writer

  Ding. A notification pops up on your phone. “R.J. Reynolds PTSA Posted a Photo.” You click your phone, put it up to your face, and the screen changes to an Instagram post. The PTSA has just announced that RJR is having a Homecoming dance! But it’s on a Friday… after the homecoming football game?

    On October 7th, for the first time in more than twenty years, RJR is hosting a dance for Homecoming Principal Calvin Freeman pushed for this plan as part of his goal to bring tradition back to RJR and in celebration of the centennial year of the school. The Reynolds PTSA is planning the dance. Phillip Boyd, the family and consumer science teacher at RJR, is helping to create the events for Homecoming day. 

    “We want to bring back traditions to Reynolds,” Boyd said. “Before, there used to be homecoming dances all the time.”

    The dance, which will take place after the homecoming football game from 10 to 12 AM, is a controversial new event for RJR students, mostly due to the time and lack of a dress code.

    “I think it’s gonna be a nice vibe, going after the game,” sophomore Jahari Miller said.

    Though some students are excited, others feel different and want the dance to be more traditional. 

   “It’s gonna be more like a party and less like a dance,” sophomore Zoe Dye said. Like Dye, most RJR students wish they could have the opportunity to dress up. 

    Personally, I would like to wear a dress, or something nice, to the dance like my friends at other schools do. Though I know that’s still an option, I think it would be helpful for there to be guidelines for what people should wear, not as a requirement, but to clear up confusion in the student body.

    “I feel like a lot of people just don’t know what to wear,” freshman Martha Wood Clark said. “Like everybody’s asking everybody ‘What should I wear?’ because it isn’t really clear.”

    Because of the lack of dress guidelines, myself and others were confused about whether we should wear dresses or not. Usually, when we think of homecoming dances, we think of what other schools do, which is dress up. It didn’t seem like that was the plan for this dance.

    “I think the whole point of homecoming is like you want to get dressed up,” sophomore Kaeleigh Brenner said. “You wanna wear a dress or a suit, and you wanna do your makeup and your hair or whatever, and I think we don’t really get that opportunity with this.

    Most students believe that a dance would be much easier to pull off on a Saturday, which is why other schools in the county decide to hold Homecoming dances then.

    A worry caused by a Friday dance is the availability of cheerleaders, Dancing Boots, and the Varsity Football team to attend after the football game.

    “I do live 15 minutes away so it’s kind of inconvenient, especially after I’m at school all day and I’m at the football game performing,” sophomore Dancing Boot Catherine Googe said. “Then I’d go to the dance for another two hours before going home.”

    Googe will be very busy Friday, going from school to the game and then the dance. She says she will undoubtedly be tired, and not to mention sweaty, after performing for an entire football game!

    According to Boyd, the vision for next year’s dance, and the years to come, is to walk directly to the gym from the new stadium. This would be much easier than this year, where transportation from Deaton-Thompson Stadium to the auxiliary gym may be confusing. Though more convenient, this would not solve the worries about wanting to wear more formal attire, or the time of the dance.

    Many RJR students think it’s great that the Homecoming dance is finally returning to Reynolds. Traditions like this help keep the spirit of the school alive. However, changes still could be made to the dance in future years to accommodate more students, time to dress up, and help fulfill the traditional high school experience that students want, and for which RJR is known.