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Dancing through the Decades

Kelly+Savio+posing+with+her+high+school+Homecoming+date+in+1995.
Kelly Savio posing with her high school Homecoming date in 1995.

Kelly Savio posing with her high school Homecoming date in 1995.

Kelly Savio posing with her high school Homecoming date in 1995.

By Jaden Gill, Managing Editor

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Tacky patterned backdrops, corsages and metallic balloons, excited whispers as the doors whisk open- since 1966, the Homecoming Dance has been one of the most anticipated events at Dos Pueblos High School.

School dances remain an eminent tradition at DP and schools across the nation, but the social pressures, the themes and styles, and the overall excitement surrounding them has shifted as years go on.

“I don’t get why people don’t get as excited as I got,” said DP alumni and English teacher Kelly Savio. “There’s fun memories from doing your hair with friends, taking pictures, going dress shopping- it’s kind of a right of passage.”

Whether it is the societal expectation to bring a date, or pure lack of interest, for some people, school dances are not the “perfect” evening Savio describes it as.

“Maybe there’s more pressure now to have an actual date, but at the time none of that mattered,” Savio said. “Even if you did have a boyfriend or girlfriend you went with a big group anyways, so it was just a fun excuse to hang out and dance and dress up.”

Travis Bower, DP graduate of 1980 and current Math teacher felt a similar lack of pressure during his homecoming experiences.

“I didn’t care too much about going to dances,” Bower said. “It ended up being more fun just to go up there and make a fool of yourself than it was to try to be cool because there was no way I was going to be able to actually dance well.”

With 50 years under DP’s belt, there have been quite the array of Homecoming themes ranging from the disco dances Bower recalls, to the creative pop culture references of Savio’s teenage years.

“The theme was always a song,” said Savio, “like one of our winter formals was ‘Nights in White Satin,’ it was always some song.”

The themes evidently catered to the times, because while DP’s dances of the 90’s were often based off of what the teenagers were listening to, Bower describes his dances as “disco” with “a lot of the surfer shuffle.”

Certain high school memories can remain hazy for the DP staff, but if there’s one thing all alumni can recall, it is their homecoming outfits.

“The late 80’s and early 90’s saw some really big hair styles,” said Chris Jones, Biology teacher and 1992 DP Graduate. “The dresses were super shiny metallic material and ties were really skinny. I remember one winter formal or homecoming I wore gold shimmery pants with a very busy pattern shirt… yuck.”

Flashback 10 or so more years to a young Bower, sporting the classic 70’s trends.

“I wore corduroys, big bell bottoms, lapels, floral patterns, a vest maybe,” said Bower. “We definitely dressed up a little bit nicer for dances.”

“I remember all my dresses,” said Savio. “The dress I wore my freshmen year looks so outdated and uncool cause it was still the early 90s, I look back at pictures like what was I thinking. I had bangs. it was a huge mistake.”

While school dances may seem cliché or unimportant, DP alumni can attest that the simple act of being together was enough to make it worthwhile.

“We didn’t have a limo or anything cause we didn’t have that kind of money,” said Savio. “But it was still perfect everybody being there together in one place- that’s something that will never happen again for a long time, if ever.”

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Dos Pueblos High School's Student Newspaper
Dancing through the Decades