How to Plan a High School Homecoming Dance

Planning a high school homecoming dance is never easy, but it’s always incredibly rewarding.

When you first start jotting down things to do, it seems like a never-ending list. From securing a date and venue to arranging refreshments, entertainment, and decorating the venue with banners and a theme, there’s a lot to do.

The key is to know where to look for the right amount of help, know how to budget, and start with enough time. If you can combine these sensible planning aspects with a healthy dose of enthusiasm, you will throw a homecoming dance to remember!

There’s no better time to start than right now. Here’s everything you need to know to help you plan the perfect high school homecoming dance:

What Is a Homecoming Dance?

A high school homecoming is a celebration for the senior class athletes usually focusing on the football players. Though many schools plan multiple events spanning a whole week, the dance is the main talking point.  

It’s a tradition in the U.S. that has its origin in alumni football games held at colleges and universities dating back to the 19th century. It’s unclear when the focus of the evening shifted over to the dance, but the dance is now the main attraction.

How to Organize Your To-Do List for a Homecoming Dance

A to-do list is an absolute must. Having the important things you need to do written down in front of you and available to anyone helping will keep everyone task-oriented.

Your to-do list is always a work in progress. You can expect to add or remove things as your plans unfold. Here are most of the essential items you should consider to get you started:

  • Location
  • Date
  • Theme
  • Decorations
  • Banners
  • Refreshments
  • DJ
  • Faculty Adviser
  • Photographer
  • Chaperons
  • Budget

How and Where to Look to Recruit Help for the Dance

Planning a homecoming dance is not something you should try to do on your own. Not only are there far too many things to arrange, but it’s also more fun and in the spirit of the event to put together a committee.

Here are three people/places to look to for help:

Parent Volunteers/Chaperones

Most schools have strict guidelines on how many chaperones they require per the number of students for a homecoming. So, the first thing to do is to check what the school’s guidelines are.

The school will likely tell you the best way to contact parents. If not, there will be a parent-teacher association you can reach out to.

Faculty Adviser

A faculty adviser’s role is to help students, and a school will often require you have a faculty adviser on the homecoming committee. They will help oversee the arrangements and make sure they are compliant with school requirements. They are also a great point of contact if you have any questions.

Volunteers / Other Students

Ideally, you will put together a small committee of enthusiastic students that want to help plan the best high school homecoming anyone has ever seen.

If this is your first time managing a team and a project, it will be quite the experience. The best way to approach utilizing the help you have is to split up your to-do list and assign relevant tasks to small groups of people.

Try to keep everyone in the loop and check in often to see how the others are doing. A group messaging app or chat room, like a Whatsapp group, is the best way to keep up with communications.

How to Finance Your Homecoming Dance

Getting a good handle on the financing of the dance is vital to the success of the event. There are a few steps to follow to know how much it will cost and how you will fund the evening. These are:

Gathering quotes – The first thing you need to do is get quotes for all the services and items you need for the evening. This includes:

  • DJ
  • Catering/Refreshments
  • Decorations/Decorating Company
  • Photographer
  • Banners/Signage

Don’t be afraid to shop around and ask for discounts. The worst you’ll hear is a firm “no,” so it never hurts to ask.

Putting together a budget – Use all the quotes to put together a budget once you have an idea of the expected costs. Involve the committee and faculty adviser with this part to see if anyone has any ideas on how to save a few dollars, or even point out things you missed.

Fundraising – If you can’t cover the costs with the ticket sales, then the committee will have to come up with some fundraising ideas.

Planning the Theme, Logistics, and Banners for the Dance

Popular themes for homecoming dances are movies, your home state, famous cities elsewhere in the world (Paris is a popular choice), and masquerade balls. Sometimes, the theme is just a formal dress code. Your committee will come up with plenty of theme ideas. Narrowing it down is usually a bigger challenge.

Next, you can lock in a date and the venue. Call all the suppliers you got a quote from earlier and secure them for the date. Size up the venue so you can plan out on paper where everything will go.

Now it’s time to print tickets and design some banners to start getting the word out. You will find everything you need to easily design your own custom banners with Best of Signs here. Put some eye-catching banners up around the school to promote awareness, and you can design some for the venue if it makes sense for your theme.

Setting up for the Dance on the Day Of

Expect some nervous energy on the day of the homecoming dance. Try to direct this energy into getting the venue set up and managing all the moving parts.

Refer to your floorplan to get everything set up where you envisioned. Once you start hanging the banners and putting the final touches and props for the theme in place, you’ll wonder what you were ever stressing over.

All the committee members will have their assigned roles for the evening. As we mentioned at the beginning, the success lies in the planning, and the planning determines the success of the evening.


No one will tell you planning a high school homecoming dance is easy. But with the right amount of forward planning, a tight handle on the finances, and enough help, you can put on a successful homecoming dance following the steps we’ve outlined here.

Don’t forget to use Best of Signs for all your homecoming banners and signage. We have a large selection of templates to help you get started with some homecoming dance sign ideas and a wide range of easily customizable options.

Learn more about our high-quality signs to feel prepared for every big event you plan.

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