Inside: Everything you need to know about a High School homecoming dance.

For many High Schoolers, myself included, there are a few cornerstones of your four-year experience that really mark your right of passage as a High School student.

One of the most important is Homecoming!

If you are planning on attending your first Homecoming, or perhaps you are planning on PLANNING your first homecoming, then you are in the right place.

Here’s what you need when it comes to the HOCO dance planning and prep.

HOCO dance planning women with corsages, ideas for the full event

I hope that by the end of this, you are feeling confident enough to both plan AND attend your own Hoco. There are so many amazing memories to be had, and I couldn’t be more excited for you!

Here are all of my tips for Homecoming to check out:

Homecoming dance ideas

What is Homecoming Dance?

A homecoming dance is a traditional event held in many high schools and colleges in the United States. It is typically associated with the annual homecoming celebration, which is a time when current students and alumni come together to celebrate their school, its sports teams, and the sense of community.

Here are some things that I would consider key aspects of a homecoming dance:

HoCo Proposals

Yep, that’s right. You’ve probably already heard of PROM-posals but Homecoming has it’s own version of this tradition as well! If you need some help picking the best way to ask out your date, I have just the thing for you. There are plenty of ways to go about it, from homecoming poster ideas to grand gestures.

I cover all of this and more in my guide to hoco proposals 101!

I’ve also spent plenty of time gathering what I think are the BEST┬áhomecoming proposal ideas,┬áso check these out if you are still feeling lost.

Homecoming food ideas

Music and Entertainment

The dance typically features a DJ or live band playing music, creating a festive atmosphere for attendees to dance and socialize. The music selection can vary from school to school but often includes a mix of popular songs and dance music. I look forward to the music the most, because dancing with my friends is my idea of a perfect night.

Themes

The best homecoming dances have themes that can influence the decorations, dress code, and overall ambiance of the event. Themes can range from “Hollywood Glam” to “Masquerade Ball” to “Under the Stars.”

If you are looking for inspiration, you MUST check out these Hoco theme ideas.

Coronation

At many high school homecomings, there is a coronation ceremony where a king and queen (or a similar royalty title) are crowned. These individuals are often chosen through a voting process involving the student body.

3 different photos from homecoming

High School Homecoming Dance Attire

High school dance attire typically falls into the category of semi-formal or formal wear, depending on the type of dance and any specific dress code requirements set by the school or event organizers. Here are some of my general guidelines for high school dance attire that work for all genders:

Dress Code

Homecoming dances are typically semi-formal or formal events, so students and attendees often dress up in formal attire, including dresses, suits, and ties. I love any excuse to dress up.

Our school does a fun take and has everyone where casual sneakers with their semi-formal dresses. The girls love getting to wear comfy dance shoes and they all look cute in the style.

Homecoming dress options

For A Feminine Look:

Dresses

A common choice for a feminine look attending high school dances is a dress. These dresses can range from knee-length to floor-length and can feature various styles, such as A-line, sheath, ballgown, or fit-and-flare. Colors and patterns can vary based on personal preference and the theme of the dance.

For our homecoming they have the cute idea to have all the girls in casual sneakers with their dresses! It’s a fun look and comfy for dancing the night away. Win, Win!

Accessories

Accessories like jewelry, purses, and hairpieces can complement the dress and overall look. However, it’s important not to overdo it; a few well-chosen accessories can make a statement without overwhelming the outfit. I’ve learned this the hard way, so head my warning!

Makeup and Hair

Many people opt for more polished makeup and hairstyle for high school dances, but this can vary based on personal style and comfort. I think it’s most important that you feel as confident as possible, so choose what works for you.

For A Masculine Look:

Cute Suit Idea for Hoco

Suits

For a more masculine look, wearing a suit is perfect. A classic suit includes a dress shirt, tie or bowtie, dress pants, and a suit jacket. The suit should be well-fitted and in good condition.

Shoes

Dress shoes are the norm for attending high school dances. These should be polished and match the color of the suit or tuxedo. You don’t want to look scruffy!

Suit accessories for HoCo

Accessories

A simple pocket square or cufflinks can add a touch of style to the outfit. However, it’s advisable not to go overboard with accessories. Again, I learned the hard way. My first HOCO was spent adjusting and readjusting a pound of jewelry and I had no idea where to put my purse. The same went for my date!

You should always ensure that you are well-groomed, with neatly styled hair and clean-shaven or well-trimmed facial hair if you have it. A clean look will pull this whole thing together, trust me!

Dancing homecoming photos

How to Dance at Homecoming

They call it a High School homecoming DANCE for a reason. Dancing at homecoming can be a lot of fun, whether you’re an experienced dancer or someone who wants to have a good time on the dance floor. Here are some of my favorite tips for dancing at HoCo:

Relax and Have Fun

The most important thing is to relax and enjoy yourself. Homecoming dances are meant to be fun and memorable, so don’t worry too much about your dance skills. Remember that everyone is already so caught up in their own head they are way too busy to worry about how you look.

Dancing friends at homecoming

Socialize

Homecoming dances are also an opportunity to socialize and connect with friends and classmates. Don’t be afraid to strike up conversations and make new friends on the dance floor. I am telling you, you are going to feel worse after a night of sitting in the corner than if you were to just rip off the social bandaid and talk with people!

Group Dancing

Many homecoming dances feature group dances or line dances. These are often easy to learn and can be a great way to get involved and have fun with others. If you’re unsure about the steps, follow the lead of those around you. You can let loose and just enjoy being with your friends!

Basic Moves

If you’re not familiar with specific dance styles, keep it simple with basic moves like swaying to the music, stepping side to side, or gently moving your arms to the beat. If you follow the song’s lead, you will be okay!

Dancing couple at Hoco

Practice

If you want to improve your dancing skills before homecoming, consider practicing at home or taking a dance class for teens. You can find tutorials online for various dance styles, from basic steps to more advanced moves. Any excuse to dance is a good one!

Be Respectful

Always be respectful of others on the dance floor. Avoid bumping into people or getting too close without their consent. Respect personal space and boundaries.

Cool photo of teens dancing at Homecoming

I am literally so excited for you to get out there and plan your High School homecoming dance! At the very least, my hope is that you are leaving this article feeling a little more prepared to embark on this epic quest of making memories.

If I sound a little dramatic, it’s because I am a sucker for dances.

I feel like there is so much goodness in the air, whether it be romance, friendship…fun. You can never be sad at a homecoming dance, especially if you take my tips to heart.