Light Up The Night: West Ranch 2017 Homecoming Dance

September 21, 2017

Light jazz plays over us as I tell my date how beautiful she looks. She blushes and I drive to a scenic lookout where we can take pictures. My hair stands in waves as my mom brushes it to the side and pushes up my eyebrows with her licked fingers. She stands back and takes our pictures behind the golden grass and in front of a live oak. My hand moves down my dates back and she leans into my shoulder. It is the evening of Sept. 16 and we will eventually end up at West Ranch’s 2017 homecoming dance, “City of Lights.”

We get into the car and drive to a nice Italian restaurant. There, our friends meet us and we all decide how we are going to split the check and the food. I eat my pasta and we all make sure to record the seconds on Snapchat. Luckily I have a coupon because that meal was very expensive.

We put the hatch down in my friend’s Volkswagen Bug convertible and drive across the street to the dance at the Hyatt Regency Valencia. As the music rolls over us way louder than it should be, we look for any adults who may be whispering to their children, “teenagers.”

When we arrive we are greeted with a jazz band playing out front. The place is draped with decorations themed after Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York City, and New Orleans. There is karaoke, a DJ, light refreshments and desserts, foosball, and cornhole games on the lawn.

In the middle of the night, the dance floor is interrupted to announce this year’s homecoming court. The nominees walk out onto the floor with Riley Flynn, this year’s homecoming queen, leading them. With much anticipation, Tyler Allen wins homecoming king and the crowd cheers wildly.

Then everyone rushes back onto the floor and we dance, dance, dance. Beyoncé turns into Drake turns into Iggy Azalea turns into Justin Bieber turns into us singing along to every single lyric. Her hips swing into mine. Her hips pull us across the floor, through crowds of sweaty bodies.

The night ends in my friend’s Volkswagen Bug convertible with no music at all but the quiet of the night. And all the adults that saw us stopped whispering to their children and looked at us, remembering when they were teenagers.  

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