The Smoke Signal, MSJ's Official Newspaper


Leadership 2 Hosts Annual Homecoming Extravaganza

By Staff Writers Hannah Bi & Alice Zhao

On September 29, Leadership 2 (L2) hosted MSJ’s annual Homecoming Extravaganza (HCX) at the amphitheater. Despite the light drizzle that initially dampened the mood, students enjoyed the night full of food, games, and photos.

The decorations for HCX included green vines wrapped around railings, fairy lights lining the backdrop of the stage, balloon garlands, and block letter lights spelling out “HCX” on stage. The stunning decor heightened the atmosphere as students clamored to snap pictures to commemorate the night.

HCX featured a variety of activities for attendees to enjoy. These games included a foosball table, an inflatable basketball game, King of the Hammer, and a Super Smash Bros. tournament held by MSJ Esports. “I feel like this [HCX] had a lot more things to do … There’s a lot more variety,” Senior Heidi Chin said. Apart from the games, students could also take photos using the photo booth, sit down for caricatures, or buy food from a selection of options. From class fundraisers to food trucks, HCX featured food from a variety of cultures, including Indian street food and samosas, Italian pasta, Mexican Birria tacos, and more. “We had a lot more vendors this year … which I think was really successful.” Homecoming and Multicultural (HCMC) Committee Co-Head Senior Isabelle Tang said.

At about 7:30 p.m., students crowded the field to watch several airbands perform their top dances from the week. The freshmen’s K-pop airband took the stage first with much enthusiasm, which was mirrored by boisterous, energetic shouting by the audience. The sophomore K-pop airband followed with equal zeal, performing pieces of TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s “Blue Orangeade,” IVE’s “I AM,” and  TWICE’s “KNOCK KNOCK” among other popular songs. Dancers continuously changed formations, dynamic movements remaining in synchronization throughout the performance. The appreciative screams from the audience only multiplied with the juniors’ Michael Jackson airband, where the sharp steps of background dancers contrasted the smooth movements of Junior Avin Katare, who mimicked Michael Jackson. The crowd erupted with his iconic moonwalk, as well as the anti-gravity lean during “Smooth Criminal.” Finally, to close the performances, the senior singing airband broke out with popular hits, such as “Crazy in Love” by Beyoncé, “Getaway Car” by Taylor Swift, and “Magic” by B.o.B. Students bounced up and down while belting out the lyrics of the first upbeat songs, then swayed side to side and waved arms to the bittersweet lyrics of “Night Changes.” Furthermore,“I think the airband performances at HCX really distinguishes MSJ’s [homecoming] from other schools. I also like that a lot of the airbands are cultural and reflect MSJ’s diversity, so it’s more special than a football game,” Sophomore Jasmine Li said.

After a short break following the performances, attendees congregated at the stage for homecoming court announcements. Each court was introduced to cheering fans as they slowly rolled onto the stage on bedazzled golf carts. After much anticipation, HCMC announced the 2023 homecoming court, prompting thunderous applause from the audience. In contrast to previous years’ winners, a full court filled the podium, with the winning king, queen, knight, and jester all from court two. To end the night, the audience formed a mosh pit to dance to the song “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran. 

Despite the event’s overall success, HCMC reflects on some minor mishaps to prepare for following years. In the future, the committee wants to improve the efficiency of planning behind school events. “As [far as] any school event [goes], you can always work on communication, pre-planning, and make sure everyone’s on the same page … [which is] something we’re always working on,” HCMC Committee Co-Head Senior Miranda Lin said. 

As a profitable and well-decorated dance with improvements from previous years, L2’s 2023 HCX was a successful event. “[Since we upscaled last year’s vendors and activities,] we were successful in getting more engaged students. Everyone was dancing or getting activities, so we’re really happy about that.” Lin said.


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