Homecoming is a time to celebrate airbands, performances, and above all, class spirit. Unfortunately, due to the unforeseen distance learning, class officers and airband leaders have had to navigate new obstacles such as filming, editing, practicing over Zoom, and keeping spirits high amongst performers. L2’s Homecoming Multicultural Committee (HCMC) prepared games and activities such as Team Karaoke, Jackbox, and Jeopardy, while upholding the annual tradition of introducing Homecoming Court during the kickoff assembly. After a week of class spirit days and performances, L2 capped off Homecoming 2021 with the annual tradition of Homecoming Unity Day.
From soliciting old footage and photos to create compilations for each class to stitching together airband footage into class videos, the newly-formed Videography Committee played an integral role in making this Homecoming possible. The three-person team, composed of Committee Head Senior Katy Lee, Senior Katherine Zhang, and Junior Alicia Wang, faced many obstacles, but their biggest was creating a video that appealed to everybody. “This is also our first year [of] the videography committee. I definitely think we can use this as a way to show that we can use videos and a lot of the virtual aspects of the homecoming we had last year to capture more memories in future homecoming[s] so people can watch it for years to come,” Lee said.
Class of 2021
Featuring recognizable Super Mario sound effects, enthralling airband performances of the past, and a dance to Justin Bieber’s “Yummy,” the Class of 2021 put on a scintillating show in their fourth and final homecoming. The Super Mario Seniors, whose Homecoming video of 17 minutes was the longest of the four classes, spent the first half of their video recapping airband and skit highlights from previous years as Moana Freshman, Beauty and the Beast Sophomores, and the Wizarding World of 2021. The latter half featured live dances from the Kpop and Garba/Raas airbands.
“In terms of the [favorite senior class] performance, I believe, the Garba/Raas dance, because it was a really nice fusion of both Western and Bollywood. So I liked how they used some Western songs like Yummy, but they still managed to integrate all of these Bollywood dances which was a really nice combination of both. And being an American, an American that’s technically an Indian, [it] was really nice to see the combination of both cultures. I think that was honestly my favorite part because they adapted so well and the fusion was really interesting.”— Meher Jain, 10
The Kpop airband’s energy-filled performance was something to behold. Wearing red, white, and black outfits, the performers danced to songs such as “nostalgic night” by VICTION — a fitting song title considering the circumstances — and “WANNABE” by Itzy. Senior Kpop Airband Co-Leader Bernice Yin noted the difference from previous Homecomings. From a technical standpoint, the airband could not focus much on timing. “Personally, I feel like a lot of the experience was diminished because … on Homecoming day there is just this exhilarating feeling that we didn’t really get to experience,” Yin said. Despite that, Yin was still glad that her airband got to perform and that Homecoming came together.
The Garba/Raas airband, with its iconic Dandiya sticks, also had an unforgettable performance. Primarily wearing red and black, many of the performers even chose to wear authentic Indian clothes of the same color. In addition to choreographing two Bollywood songs, the dancers capped off their performance with an exciting dance to a remix of “Yummy” by Justin Bieber. “I definitely feel like the energy would have been different … while online I definitely feel like I tried my best, it’s hard to replicate that feeling,” Senior Garba/Raas Performer Ashish Basetty said. While the experience was not how he expected Homecoming to be, Basetty was proud to be a part of an airband.
“I really liked a lot of the activities L2 was able to put together during Kickoff Week. We don’t usually have that many activities going on. It’s mostly just the dress up days and pictures. I think it was really nice that they were able to adapt the activities into a virtual format and still create some aspect of a class competition with Jeopardy and karaoke.” — Hasika Sridhar, 12
Despite the uncertainty of the Homecoming format, Senior Class Treasurer Anish Aerrabotu was satisfied with the overall performance. “It was still a way for us to … be excited for what’s to come in the future and be proud of everything we accomplished in the past … so I think that I would rate it a nine out of ten,” Aerrabotu said.
View the Class of 2021 performance below.
Class of 2022
From the surprised Pikachu background to the iconic Pokémon theme song, juniors were brought back to their nostalgic homecoming performances as Freshmen of Monsters Inc. and Sophomore Trainers as sentimental photos of their freshmen and sophomore homecomings flashed across the screen. With the onset of distance learning, this year’s junior performance featured two airbands: Bollywood and Bhangra.
“Personally, my favorite part of this first-ever virtual homecoming was the karaoke. I signed up the night before not knowing what to expect, and it turned out super fun. I felt very wholesome and fuzzy watching people from different classes sing throwback songs. Although I don’t agree with our placing, I will always look back to singing at the top of my lungs with some of my closest friends.” — Vedant Mohan, 11
Donning black, the Bollywood and Bhangra performers danced in almost perfect unison to “Chikni Chameli” by Shreya Goshal and “Odhani” by Neha Kakkar, Darshan Raval, and Sachin-Jigar. Airband leaders faced many difficulties bringing performers together from home, especially during teaching and practicing. Choreography practice sessions occurred over Zoom, and despite the initial challenge of adapting to this format, the junior class performers were able to overcome and deliver. “I do think that it was more difficult teaching over Zoom, but everyone did the best they could, so there isn’t much more we could ask for,” Junior Bollywood Airband Co-Leader Nisha Annamalai said.
The Junior Class Officers shared similar sentiments, as they thanked the airband leaders and L2 committees for their work putting the video together. “L2’s HCMC committee did an amazing job with organizing and hosting the event, and I think that although there were various challenges, such as lack of motivation, difficulty putting together the video, and performers dropping, this will still be a year to remember,” Junior Class Treasurer Jonathan Tao said.
View the Class of 2022 performance below.
Cover image by Staff Writer Nishi Bhagat & Cover graphic elements courtesy of Kevin Yang