Homecoming turnout lights up the dance floor

Featured Image: Left to right: President Scott D. Miller and seniors Asia Howington, Josh Heller and Jordan Gilliam celebrate on Birdsong Field. VWU Flickr|Courtesy

Homecoming is a valued campus tradition at universities nationwide. Bringing together students, faculty members, family members and alumni, it gives people the opportunity to congregate and celebrate with one another in the fact of existence and accomplishment. 

Virginia Wesleyan University’s Homecoming Weekend kicked off on Friday, Oct. 7 with the 21st Annual Golf Outing at Cypress Point Golf Course, the fall theatre production of “Cabaret” and the student Homecoming Dance. 

Traditionally, the Homecoming Dance is held in the CMAC, but this year, tradition was switched up with the dance being hosted outside at the Cove. 

Freshman Jordan Crallé liked having the established title of “Sneakerball” instead of just “Homecoming Dance,” especially since it was hosted outside. 

“I know a bunch of my friends stepped out in cool sneakers to match their outfits,” Crallé said. He enjoyed having the overall environment change. 

Sophomore Marco Molino, another attendee of the dance, agreed with Crallé.

“There was a lot more freedom of movement,” Molino said. “You also didn’t get super hot really quickly, and I just think you can do more outside than in a gym.” 

He expressed how having the dance outside again in the future could enable even more opportunities for growth. Various attractions could be added in addition to just the dance floor, and he was excited to see what would happen with Homecoming in future years. 

The 2022 Homecoming court being crowned on Birdsong Field on Saturday, Oct. 8.
Sarah Guzzo|Courtesy

Laurena Lara, a junior, was also a huge fan of the dance this year. Being an avid participant in Homecoming activities, she has been to all of the Homecoming dances that she’s been at college for and was pleased with the way it turned out this year.

Lara said her favorite part of the dance was how “it was a different environment being outside.” She loved the fire pit at the Cove and how the outside air made it a lot cooler. She is excited for next year’s opportunity to dress up and experience it all over again. 

Freshman Breanne Bessette also enjoyed the experience. 

“I honestly did not expect to have a Homecoming at college,” Bessette said. “I had heard that colleges didn’t really do dances.” She was excited to find out that there would indeed be a dance.

Bessette also loved how the “The Wizard of Oz” theme of “Following the Yellow Brick Road” was incorporated into the surrounding decorations and food of the event and was thankful for “just being able to gather for a night with friends, have a good time and dance with each other.” 

One of the most popular and talked about aspects of the dance was the actual dance floor itself. It was checkered with alternating solid spaces and mirror squares with lights lining the insides. Molino mentioned how the floor “was just mesmerizing. It made you want to dance.”

Another popular aspect was the 360 Spinner Video Booth. Groups of two to five could gather on top of a circular platform and get a 360 video taken of them that would then get airdropped to them by the video camera worker. 

Sophomore Ellie Snowman enjoyed this part.

“It really added to the experience of the memories by having a video to look back on of your friends instead of just still pictures,” Snowman said. She felt like having this new aspect in addition with the environment change and lit-up dance floor really helped enhance the experience overall. 

Families and alumni socialize at the Annual Marlin Alumni Social on Saturday, Oct 8.
VWU Flickr|Courtesy

Saturday, Oct. 8’s Homecoming events started out with the Homecoming FinFest, a time when alumni, parents and students could all come together and eat, win prizes and simply socialize. Sporting events of various kinds also occurred later in the afternoon, including the alumni games. 

Sophomore Evelyn Weaver, a member of the Women’s Lacrosse team, talked about the value of having these alumni games whereupon past members of the team get to play against the current campus team. 

“It kind of inspires an appreciation for the people who came before you and made the program what it is now. And that goes for all the people no matter how long ago they graduated,” Weaver said. 

Mentioning that the games are full of catching up, general chatter and just overall friendliness, Weaver was thankful for the opportunity these alumni games gave for reconnecting with old teammates and remembering the fun and value of the sport. 

Overall, Homecoming Weekend at Virginia Wesleyan was full of many events that included social, artistic and athletic aspects. It gave people the space to gather together and take a break with one another in the midst of a busy semester, and many are excited to see what happens next year.

By Phoebe Cox