The “Neon Nights” Homecoming dance, inspired by the 5K Color Run, was held on Oct. 11 at TPHS. The Associated Student Body provided each ticket-holder with a white T-shirt that would be sprayed with colored powder by attending faculty upon students’ arrival at the event.
In addition to the colored shirts, the dance carried out the theme of “Neon Nights” by featuring fluorescent strobe lights on the open-air dance floor and florescent photo booths.
There were also poker tables and a Baked Bear ice cream truck at the dance, neither of which had a direct connection to the dance’s theme, but “added variation and fun,” according to ASB president Erica Lewis (12).
However, according to attendee Sara Shoushtari (10), spraying colored powder on shirts and having poker tables at the dance did not correlate strongly with the evening’s theme.
“I don’t think a lot of kids really [connected] with the games, like poker, especially since it didn’t really go with the theme,” Shoushtari said. “Also having so much powder in the air could pose a potential threat to kids.”
However, the powder used at the dance, which was similar to cornstarch and of cosmetic grade, was both nontoxic and biodegradable, according to Lewis. It was also extremely easy to wash off clothing and completely harmless.
“We didn’t have problems with the powder not washing off clothes,” Lewis said. “But we did get complaints about the powder getting into people’s eyes. The material is just powder and shouldn’t have caused any actual harm.”
According to Lewis, there was discussion about the issue after the dance, though it was not a large enough concern to merit further conversation.
There was also controversy with profane songs played at the dance, which included the uncensored versions of “Anaconda” by Nicki Minaj and “Dance (A$$)” by Big Sean. Both songs included profane language that is prohibited at school, according to school policies.
ASB members were unaware that the uncensored versions of the songs were going to be played at the dance.
“[Having uncensored songs] was completely unintentional,” Lewis said. “It was an accident, and it was not school appropriate.”
ASB activities director Kate Betts (11) agreed, saying that ASB had no say in the music being played.
“That was all on the DJ,” Betts said. “Although uncensored music gets kids more excited to dance with their friends and sing along, I’m not sure it was entirely appropriate.”
Shoushtari said the censored versions of songs have been played at past Winter Formal and Homecoming dances.
“I don’t recall profane language in songs last year at Homecoming, and there definitely were no uncensored songs at last year’s Winter Formal, so I’m not sure what happened this year,” Shoustari said.
ASB adviser Scott Chodorow was unavailable for further comment on the issue.
However, other ASB members and Lewis believe the dance was successful because “everything turned out the way we wanted.”
According to Shoushtari, Homecoming “was an experience to remember” and she looks forward to attending it next year.