Students dance the night away at FOCO

Fake homecoming for Midlo students 2021

Photo by: Reilly McConnel
Midlo students end the week of festivities by attending the FOCO dance.

Traditionally, the dance at the end of homecoming week is an event that students of all grade levels look forward to. However, due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, administrators made the decision to postpone the school-hosted activity. Many students and parents registered the word “postponed” as “canceled,” so, with little time to spare, several groups of Midlo parents scrambled to plan a last-minute dances to ensure FOCOs (fake homecomings) took place. While there were multiple FOCOs in the area, the parties with the most guests were located at Uptown Alley, a local bowling alley, hosted by Hallsley families and at the Watermill Clubhouse, hosted by Watermill families.

“It was really exciting because for the past two years we haven’t really been able to do anything,” junior Parker Husick said.

Sophomores attend their first-ever high school dance. (Photo by: Reilly McConnel )

Just as the sun set on Saturday night, Midlo students took part in the annual pre-dance rituals, which included going out to dinner with friends. Among the most popular dinner spots were Tavern 19, Wild Ginger, Sedona Tap House and The Boathouse, where groups snapped pictures of everyone looking their formal best. As students finished up their photo ops, groups began to head out to the various dance sites.  

At the Uptown Alley location, students gathered in the parking lot, which was turned into a dance floor complete with a party tent decked out in colorful lights and balloons. Greeted by a DJ blasting music, students were automatically transported into a party environment upon arrival. Whenever the beat dropped, students threw bottles of water in the air, cooling off the people on the dance floor. Apart from the populated dance floor, students had the chance to take pictures with friends in a photo booth, get snacks from local food trucks and play a variety of games, including corn hole, connect four and oversized cup pong. Here, groups also had the opportunity to head inside to bowl and enjoy complimentary JiJi’s Frozen Custard

Zach Overstreet, Crew Gregory, and Kaleb Davoud spend their night at Uptown Alley. (Photo by: Kyle Reeder)

Only a few miles from where the typical homecoming dance would have been held at Midlo, the Watermill Clubhouse acted as a similar environment to that of  Uptown Alley, as it consisted of a photo booth, complimentary food and lively party music. 

“Andy Baker’s dad was the DJ at Watermill, and he was playing awesome music,” said junior Charlie Healey who had “such a fun time dancing and talking to my friends all night.”

Students crowd surf and cheer at the Uptown Alley dance. (Photo by: Kyle Reeder)

The night flew by as students danced to popular songs like Look What You Made Me Do by Taylor Swift, as well as Lil Nas X and Jack Harlow’s Industry Baby.  Despite the change in venue from previous years, students had a memorable experience all the same with some even crowd surfing. Then, as the night began to wind down, students gathered their belongings and headed to their next destination with smiles on their faces. 

After a night of fun, students now look forward to Midlo’s officially announced homecoming dance set to take place on Saturday, November 6, 2021. Though all in attendance are required to wear a mask and remain in the designated upper and underclassman sections, administrators hope to provide students with some sense of normalcy. As of now, freshmen and sophomores will have the time slot of 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., while juniors and seniors are scheduled to have the dance floor from 9:00 to 11:00 p.m.