Glow-in-the-dark pep rally lights up homecoming week


Varsity football players during the glow-in-the-dark pep rally

With a gym covered in string lights, black lights, a DJ booth, neon glowing homecoming shirts and cheerleaders passing out glow sticks, the “glow in the dark” pep rally on Oct. 26 was experimental, new and all out.

Designed as a way to replace the traditional homecoming parade, which was cancelled this year due to safety concerns, the theme was chosen to bring something new and fresh to the routine Friday pep rallies. It featured performances by two dance teams, the senior powder puff cheerleaders, a group of dancing teachers and junior Eliot Barat, who won this year’s talent show on Oct. 23 with his Chinese yo-yo act.

“Leadership didn’t want to do a normal pep rally because not everyone enjoys them, so we decided on a black light pep rally,” junior Jordan Long, who was involved with leadership and the planning of the pep rally, said. Leadership had been discussing ideas to replace the parade shortly after hearing of its cancellation, but it wasn’t until later that the idea of a black light theme came to life.

Students got neon glowing shirts in their class color with the purchase of a homecoming dance ticket. While the cheerleading squad and coach Terri King planned out what would happen during the rally itself, leadership came together to do all of the technical planning, as well as ensure the safety requirements.

“I thought it was a success because everyone seemed more involved in it then the previous pep rallies, and most people wore the shirts to it,” Long said.

While students were heavily involved in the planning of the pep rally, dozens of teachers also took a role with a choreographed dance routine to viral hits like “Gangnam Style,” “Single Ladies,” and “Hammer Time.” At the end of the routine, as the teachers posed, the lights in the gym cut off as hundreds of glow sticks, shirts, and string lights lit up the space in neon color.

“Friday’s pep rally was by far the best one in HHS history,” history teacher Robin Grenz, who participated in the dance and has been teaching since the school opened, said. “Almost every student I saw Friday commented on how much fun they’d had, and homecoming week was centered around a theme that connected us all.”