Dance Date Drama?

With Teresian occurring tomorrow night, Sept. 17, students reflect on the complexities of a single-sex school’s homecoming—especially when it comes to finding a date.


by Tierney Flavin, Features Editor


“A celebration at school or college, usually including a dance and a football game, when people who were students there at an earlier time can return to visit.” This is the definition provided by the Cambridge Dictionary of the word “homecoming.” 

As an all-girls school, St. Teresa’s Academy’s take on homecoming—called Teresian—strays from this traditional definition of a homecoming.

Sophomore Molly Sonnenberg will be attending her first Teresian this year. Growing up, Sonnenberg saw a drastically different version of homecoming represented in film and media than what she sees at STA.

I feel like homecoming week for normal co-ed schools is so glorified,” Sonnenberg said. “[They] have the homecoming football game and then homecoming court and homecoming king and queen and things like that.”

Although junior Gabi Vovk also notices the differences, she doesn’t mind Teresian’s lack of “traditional” aspects of homecoming.

“With everything else I get out of coming to an all-girls school, [homecoming] is such a minor detail,” Vovk said. “I just feel more confident in this environment day to day that it doesn’t matter if one day of the year I don’t get a traditional experience. I think it’s just really different to people who don’t go here and totally normal for people who do.”

Besides the lack of homecoming royalty, a football game and other typical aspects of homecoming, STA’s students face another challenge during Homecoming Season: finding a date. 

This year, Teresian lands before most other Kansas City school’s homecomings—leading the girls to ask their date first. Vovk notices tension in the air around Teresian. She attributes it to students worrying about a date.  

“It’s very stressful for most people,” Vovk said. “There’s just so much awkwardness and nervousness.”

Sonnenberg has felt pressure to choose a date since July. She—alongside many of her friends—asked their dates almost two months ahead of Teresian. Sonnenberg has since realized that it is not as stressful as it seemed. 

“Asking someone to homecoming is really hyped up and really nerve-wracking,” Sonnenberg said. “Everyone is like ‘Oh my God, what if they say no,’ but any guy would love to go to Teresian or to homecoming. So once you ask the guy then there is so much less pressure.”

According to a survey of 183 students, 76.4 percent plan on bringing a date to Teresian; 62.9 percent of those said they would be bringing a date from Rockhurst High School. 

“I feel like a lot of STA girls try to ask Rockhurst boys,” senior Mya Snapp said. “Unless [they’re] dating someone from [another school] or something. So I mean [taking a Rockhurst boy] is kind of a trend here.”

Despite only having attended STA for two years, Sonnenberg has also noticed this tendency. The pressure to ask a Rockhurst student makes sense to her, though. According to a  survey of 183 students, 69% of STA students who are going to a homecoming other than Teresian will be attending “Roco”—a portmanteau of “Rockhurst” and “Homecoming.”

“A lot of people think that they have to ask a Rockhurst boy so they could have a date back to ‘Roco,’” Sonnenberg said. “Also because Rockhurst is an all-boys school. So obviously, they don’t have girls at their school that they can ask.” 

Similarly, senior Leigh Dolan has felt inclined to take a date from Rockhurst to Teresian.  

“[Girls want] to get asked back to Rockhurst and then you have two dances to go to,” senior Leigh Dolan said. “For me a lot of my guy friend group goes to Rockhurst, but there are other boys that I hang out with. But there’s just the pressure to take someone from Rockhurst since all of your friends are.” 

Some students, however, choose to take a date from a school other than Rockhurst. According to the survey, STA students who chose to take a date this year plan on bringing them from Blue Valley, Lee’s Summit, Bishop Miege, Notre Dame de Sion, St. Thomas Aquinas and many more. 

Sonnenberg highlights the diverse population that ends up at Teresian. 

“I feel like it’s fun that Teresian is full of people from all different schools,” Sonnenberg said. 

Others opt not to take a date at all to avoid the stress.

“A lot of girls here actually go with just a group of girls,” Snapp said. “[It’s] a good feeling if you’re in the same boat, you don’t have to worry about finding a male date.” 

Despite the stress surrounding dates and the differences between Teresian and co-ed schools’ more “traditional” homecomings, Snapp prefers her own dance to others she has been to throughout high school.

“I enjoy Teresian the most; everybody has a good time,” Snapp said.

If her experience at Teresian had to be summarized in three words, Dolan would describe the dance as “magical,” “fun,” and “exciting.”

This year’s Teresian Dance will be held tomorrow night on the Kevin Gray Athletic Field from 7-9 p.m.