On the breezy night of September 28th, the LA River Center is a sight to behold. In a rare stroke of autumn, the now dark skies are clouded over, the ground still glistening with morning rain. However, the gloomy weather in no way reflects the upbeat energy of this year’s homecoming dance. Walking into the center, a bubbling fountain and luscious greenery accompany a hum of excited voices. The sound of music echoes nearby, energy emanating from the center of activity, the dance floor.
“What really drew us to that venue was how natural it was, how it has so much natural decorating,” says sophomore Lucinda Stewart, one of the ASB dance commissioners. “[Adding decorations] was kind of just enhancing how beautiful the venue is.” Stewart, among her fellow commissioners and ASB board members, spearheaded much of the planning related to the dance. The team was constantly working to make sure that every detail was executed to perfection. Fellow commissioner and sophomore Jessamyn Wright comments that “we kind of had to elevate our standards a little bit, just to make everything so posh and chic to go along with the LA River Center vibe.” Since the south gym is going on its second year under construction, the river center proved to be the best possible option for homecoming. While decorating the already gorgeous venue may have been less of an ordeal than the south gym transformation ERHS is so used to seeing, having a homecoming dance off-campus is atypical for many schools and definitely not easy.
“One of the main challenges was kind of figuring out what our limit was. (...) It was kind of like, just not really knowing anything. Usually, the gym is right there so we’re all ready for it,” Stewart says. There was limited access to supplies in the process of setting up, as the river center is a good 20 minute drive away from campus. Thankfully, the care, precision, and dedication of ASB members came to the rescue when times got rough. “Everybody genuinely really wanted to help, which really made it a lot easier on us.” Wright agrees: “The day of the dance it was really great to see everything come together, so I think that was the biggest success, (...) that everything went so smoothly.”
Homecoming 2019 was, indeed, quite the success. With an attendance of around 1,000 students, the night was spent getting down on the dance floor and chowing down on the concessions provided by ERHS clubs. The decorations were meticulous but blended beautifully into the lush environment of the River Center. Wright comments that “It was just amazing to see everyone having fun the day of the dance, so many people smiling, and so many people went, which was so much fun to see.” While this may be our school’s last off-campus homecoming before the south gym opens once again, it was definitely one to remember, all thanks to the hard work of ASB.